Molly-Mae Hague Instagram post banned over lack of advert disclosure

·2-min read
Molly-Mae Hague Instagram post banned over lack of advert disclosure

An Instagram post by former Love Island contestant Molly-Mae Hague has been banned after she failed to disclose it was an advert.

The post, shared on 31 October 2021, showed the influencer wearing a PrettyLittleThing dress with the caption: “You can actually shop it now on PLT - couldn't not make it available for you guys too”, followed by a link to the retailer's website.

The 23-year-old was named the creative director of the fast fashion brand in August 2021.

However, one social media user complained that Hague had already been appointed to the role at the time of publishing the post, which did not make its commercial intent clear.

PrettyLittleThing confirmed that this was the case, and that their contractual agreement with Hague expressly stated the requirement for her to include the advert disclosure in posts.

The company said that the disclosure had been omitted by mistake and that Hague had been reminded of the requirement to make this clear in future.

A spokesperson for Hague confirmed the same.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said: “We noted that the story had appeared in Molly-Mae Hague's own account and did not contain any indication that it was a marketing communication.

“We considered that, while some of her followers may have known that she was a creative director at PrettyLittleThing, it was not immediately clear to all consumers that she had a commercial interest in PrettyLittleThing from the post itself.”

They concluded that the commercial intent was unclear, that the post was not “obviously identifiable as a marketing communication”, and that they welcomed assurances from both the company and Hague that future posts would include a label.

Influencers have been required to comply with rules around social media adverts since September 2018, when the Competition and Markets Authority created a guide to ensure users were being transparent around product advertising and staying within the law.

Despite this, social media users reported struggling to identify adverts posted by influencers, even when labelled as such, according to a 2019 report.

In the past, a number of celebrities and high-profile influencers have been subject to ASA action over the labelling of their posts, including Made In Chelsea stars Louise Thompson and Millie Mackintosh, and Geordie Shore cast member Marnie Simpson.

In 2019, adverts for weight loss brands that featured on the Instagram accounts of celebrities including Katie Price, Lauren Goodger and Georgia Harrison were banned for being irresponsible.

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