One of the stars of MTV's Geordie Shore has been told she must make it clear when she is being paid to promote a product, after she posted two pictures on Snapchat without revealing they were adverts.
Marnie Simpson, a 25-year-old TV personality who has also recently been a Celebrity Big Brother contestant posted one snap promoting Diamond Whites, a tooth polish for which she is a brand ambassador, and one for cosmetic contact lenses called iSpyEyes, sold by Unleashed PR, her agency.
On the posts, she promoted a new grey contact lens colour and “50% off everything from Diamond Whites! Swipe up." It is the first time the ASA has made a ruling related to Snapchat.
The Advertising Standards Authority said the posts broke two advertising rules. They said the Snapchat posts were not clearly identifiable as "marketing communications" and that they did not comply with rules that state adverts "must not falsely claim or imply that the marketer is acting as a consumer".
In its response to the ASA Diamond Whites said Marnie Simpson had been the face of the brand for nearly two years and that they believed her followers were "aware of the relationship." The brand agreed to make clear in future, for example through using #Ad, that the posts were of a commercial nature in future.
iSpyEyes said on future snaps which did not mention a company name or website, they would make sure that it was clear it was an ad.
BuzzFeed News contacted Marnie Simpson's publicist who declined to comment.
The ASA's CEO, Guy Parker, said a statement: “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. It’s just not fair to expect people to play the detective to work out the status of a tweet, post or story.
"We’re seeing an increasing number of influencers who stick to the rules calling out those who don't... We want the norm to be that the majority of influencers and brands play by the rules. We’re not there yet, but only that will preserve the authenticity and trust that social influencers trade on.”
It is not the first time a celebrity has been found to fall foul of the rules.
Millie Mackintosh was told in 2015 to make clear a video uploaded on Instagram promoting a Britvic drink was clearly identifiable as an ad. In 2016, the blogger Sheikhbeauty, fell foul of the rules for promoting Flat Tummy Tea on Instagram, and last year, the Channel 5 TV presenter AJ Odudu was slapped on the wrist for promoting Alpro on Twitter without stating it was an ad.