Love Island’s Molly-Mae comes under fire from watchdog over breaking ad rules
Love Island’sMolly-Mae Hague has broken promotion rules for the second time, deemed the UK's advertising watchdog.
Molly-Mae held a giveaway to celebrate her reaching a million subscribers on YouTube in September 2020.
It offered fans the chance to win a range of luxury items worth a staggering £8,000 if they liked the post, subscribed to her Youtube and Instagram accounts, and tagged a friend.
Items included in the bumper prize package were a laptop, Louis Vuitton luggage and a year’s supply of her own Filter By Molly-Mae fake tan.
She captioned the post: "THIS IS MY CRAZY GIVEAWAY!!!! The thought of one of you receiving all of these things makes me so happy, I can’t wait to see who wins!”
100 people were drawn randomly from a hat and one of them would be picked as the winner by a random computer generator.
However, the Advertising Standard Authority (ASA) has said that the supposedly random draw was not fair.
The Instagram algorithm pushed people with verified accounts to the top of the comments meaning the competition was not according to chance.
12 fans complained that they hadn’t been included in the initial draw and so had not had the chance to win, which were upheld by the ASA.
Molly-Mae also posted on her story that the winner would be picked from 25 random names leading the ASA to state: "We were concerned by the inconsistencies."
The ASA ruling said: "We told Molly-Mae Hague to ensure their future promotions were administered fairly and that prizes were awarded to genuine winners in accordance with the laws of chance and by an independent person or under the supervision of an independent person."
Molly-Mae explained the breach as a mistake, stating she thought that the giveaway had not counted as a promotion as she had bought the goods herself and that she had been overwhelmed by the response of the fans.
The post was liked nearly 1.2 million times and had almost three million comments.
The social media influencer had been warned previously by the ASA for not making it clear enough that posts were promotions.
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She posted a picture of her wearing a PrettyLittleThing coat and tagged the brand, without mentioning that she was a brand ambassador and therefore needed to tag the picture as an ad.
A lawyer suggested this could spell more trouble for other influencers as it shows the ASA is investigating them more thoroughly, previously only coming after them for not clearly showing which posts were promotions.
Speaking to the BBC, Nick Breen from law firm Reed Smith said: "Targeting someone like Molly-Mae sends a message to other influencers, who may have smaller followings, to remind them that they are under the same requirements as any other brand.
"So, as they do more sophisticated campaigns – beyond copying and pasting marketing from an advertiser – they need to take even more care."
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