ASA couples up with Love Island stars to deliver social media checklist

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has coupled up with ITV’s Love Island to develop a new social media ‘survival kit’ based around promotional posts and paid content. 

Stars from the ITV hit show will be provided with a checklist, which explains to the Love Island stars why they must be clear on whether content is sponsored by a particular brand. 

“Given the popularity and success of Love Island, many brands and companies may look to enter into commercial partnerships with contestants as a quick and effective way of reaching and promoting directly to their social media followers,” the ASA states. 

“While there is nothing wrong with that, it’s important that all parties know and understand how and when the advertising rules apply to them to ensure the public aren’t being misled.” 

Under ASA guidelines, reality stars and influencers are obliged to make sponsored posts ‘obviously identifiable’, with a number of influencers such as Louise Thompson, Millie Mackintosh, and Marnie Simpson previously coming under fire for such infractions.

ASA chief executive Guy Parker said: “Our checklist is a quick and effective way of helping Love Islanders ensure their social media posts stick to the rules and avoid misleading their followers.

“Our message is simple: make sure you’re upfront and clear when you’re being paid to post.”

Former contestants on the show will be encouraged to use indicative hashtags which are made visible in a post’s caption, while the ASA also stressed that gifted products count as “payment-in-kind” and are therefore advertisements.

The checklist has also included advice on discount codes provided, adding: “If you’re being rewarded for sales from a discount code or affiliate link in a post you need to say this is an ad. If only some of the links or content relate to the promoted product you need to make clear which parts of the post are an ad.”

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