Geordie Shore star broke advertising rules on Snapchat
Two pictures uploaded to Snapchat by Geordie Shore’s Marnie Simpson were found to have broken UK’s advertising rules, according to the Advertising Standards Authority. This is the first time a picture on Snapchat has been involved in this kind of case.
One of the photographs involved Simpson posing with a case of tooth polish by a company called Diamond Whites, with the writing “50% of [sic] everything” next to it. The 25-year-old has been a brand ambassador for Diamond Whites for nearly two years, but since the post failed to make clear it was a paid advert, it broke the rules.
A second image involved a picture of her wearing a coloured contact lens with the writing “mrs grey coming soon”. Earlier this year, her management agency, Unleashed PR, started to sell a range of coloured contact lenses under the name “iSpyEyes by Marnie Simpson”.
“The rules are simple here, ads have got to be easily identifiable as ads” said ASA chief Guy Parker. “If brands do a deal with celebrities or social influencers, where they pay them and insist they promote positive messages about the brand, even if those messages are put into the words of the celebrity or social influencer, then the tweet or the post that results from that is an ad.”
Parker added that using the hashtag #ad is a common way to make it clear a tweet, Instagram post or Snapchat post is an ad. “These rules apply equally to Snapchat” he added. But this is the first case of its kind involving Snapchat.
“These might be our first Snapchat rulings, but the principle behind them is as old as the hills – ads, wherever they appear, must be obviously identifiable as ads,” the authority’s chief executive Guy Parker told the BBC. “It’s just not fair to expect people to play the detective, to work out the status of a tweet, post or story.”
There was no further action taken, as the ASA does not have the power to impose fines, and as the posts were in a Snapchat story, they were automatically removed after 24 hours. But the ASA hopes this will be a warning to others not to make the same mistakes in future.