Myleene Klass breached advertising regulations three times while promoting her own book, Next clothes, and Skechers trainers on Instagram, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled.
The former Hear’Say singer posted on her Instagram reel on 13 May a video of various celebrities including Alex Jones, Chris Evans, Kate Garraway and Lorraine Kelly which ended with Klass holding a copy of her book, titled They Don’t Teach This at School, while on-screen text saying “Wish Granted” appeared.
Some of the celebrities were also seen holding the book and answering the question: “What’s something REALLY important that you should’ve been taught in school…but you WEREN’T?”
The ASA upheld complaints against the social media post, as well as others featuring Next clothes and Skechers trainers, which said that they did not make their commercial nature clear.
About the book video they said: “We considered that those viewing the ad could have believed the video was just a general discussion about the subject rather than it being related to the promotion of Ms Klass’ book.
“We noted that it was not until the sixth celebrity featured that one of them was shown with a copy of the book which was only partially visible on their lap.
“It was not clear, at that point, that Ms Klass was the author of the book. At the end of the video Ms Klass was shown holding a copy of the book up to the camera, with the on-screen text ‘Wish Granted’.
“We considered it was only at that point that it would have been clear to viewers that her book was the subject of the video and the reason for the initial question.
“For those reasons we considered it was not immediately clear to viewers that the post was a marketing communication.”
Klass also made a post on 16 May, as well as a reel seen during the same month, in which she was advertising a bra top, pink drawstring trousers, a bikini, a floral printed dress and high-heeled sandals by clothing company Next.
And she made a post in which she was advertising pink trainers and a combat print cap belonging to Skechers, as well as a story on 14 June of her and another woman wearing pink clogs by the same company.
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When contacted about the marketing posts for their clothes on Instagram, Next said it was clear to viewers of the commercial relationship between the company and Klass because she referenced the product she was wearing and tagged @nextofficial.
They also said she referenced “my collection” and that most people would have known about the commercial relationship because it had been reported in the media.
But the ASA disagreed and said: “We considered that the posts could have been viewed in isolation, that not all Instagram users would be aware of the pre-existing relationship between Next and Ms Klass and that she was engaging in promotional activity for them.
“We also considered the reference to ‘my collection’ was insufficient to make clear that there was a commercial arrangement between them, whereby Ms Klass would receive royalty payments on sales of the products featured and that the posts were in fact ads.”
Skechers said that they had asked Klass to either edit or remove the posts and ensure that all future posts were clearly labelled, adding that they monitor social media posts of their advertisers but it is impossible to catch every mistake.
Representatives for Klass said that there was some confusion over what was and wasn’t an ad but that she would caption future posts with #ad.
The ASA said: “We welcomed Ms Klass’ assurance that she would be adding #ad to her posts in future.
“However, because at the time of the complaint the post’s commercial intent had not been made clear upfront, for example with the use of an identifier such as #ad, we considered that it was not obviously identifiable as a marketing communication and concluded that it breached the Code.”