PrettyLittleThing falls foul of ASA rules over celebrity Instagram post

Love Island star promoted brand on platform but did not make clear post was advertising.

PrettyLittleThing: broke ASA rules over celebrity Instagram tie-up
PrettyLittleThing: broke ASA rules over celebrity Instagram tie-up

PrettyLittleThing has fallen foul of marketing rules on Instagram after reality star Molly-Mae Hague posted a photo of herself and tagged the brand in a post without making it clear that the post was an ad.

The post, which appeared in September, featured a picture of the former Love Island contestant wearing a coat and featured the caption "A/W, I’m ready", with @prettylittlething tagged.

One person challenged whether the post was obviously identifiable as an ad and the ASA upheld the complaint. The ad watchdog told PrettyLittleThing and Hague to ensure future Instagram ads were obviously identifiable as such, for example by including the hashtag #ad.

PrettyLittleThing confirmed to the ASA that Hague was a brand ambassador but said the post was not part of their contractual agreement. Via her agent, Hague told the regulator the post was not an ad but an organic feed post and she had tagged the retailer because she was wearing one of its products.

The fashion brand told Campaign: "PrettyLittleThing is aware of the ASA guidelines and strives to ensure all its Influencer ads comply with ASA guidelines. In this instance, the post made by Molly Mae was an organic, unpaid post.

"PrettyLittleThing and Molly will continue working together to ensure the ‘paid partnership’ tag is used, where relevant, in all further posts."

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