Paying influencers to promote your stuff on Instagram, Youtube and other social media is advertising. You have to identify it as such and follow the guidance of the ASA. Charlotte Tilbury Beauty are no doubt well aware of this, but even so have got caught not doing it by the book.

The reason seems to be pretty simple. They used an agency that in turn used an influencer who didn’t follow the rules. This is a difficult area of the business to work in. Agencies can only exert so much control over their signees, who are not direct employees and no doubt come in all shapes and sizes.

This isn’t going to get any easier, but the rules are the rules. I don’t doubt that other big companies will end up in the same boat. I’d be interested in the information we don’t and can’t have. How much of this kind of thing goes on that never gets picked up? The most motivated people to investigate this are presumably competitor companies. I wonder if the day will come when a regular marketing activity will be checking up on whether your competitors are getting unacknowledged paid for plugging, and grassing them up if they are.

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