Molly-Mae Hague has Pretty Little Thing Instagram post bannedon July 13, 2022 at 10:08 am

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The influencer didn’t make it clear the picture of her in a Pretty Little Thing dress was an ad.

Molly-Mae HagueImage source, Getty Images

Molly-Mae Hague has had another Instagram post banned, this time after she failed to include any mention of it being an ad.

It’s the third time the 23-year-old influencer has been in trouble with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

She posted a picture of her wearing a Pretty Little Thing (PLT) dress, along with a link to buy it, on her story.

The ASA said it was not “immediately clear” that she had a commercial interest in PLT.

Molly-Mae is a creative director at the company, with PLT confirming their contract expressly stated the requirement for her to include the “£ad” disclosure in posts.

Someone who saw the former Love Islander’s post on Halloween last year complained, saying the ad didn’t make its commercial intent clear.

The ASA said: “We noted that the story had appeared in Molly-Mae Hague’s own account and did not contain any indication that it was a marketing communication.”

A spokeswoman for Molly-Mae said the “£ad” disclosure had been left off by mistake and would be used in future.

PLT also said it had reminded Molly-Mae of the requirement to prevent any similar mistakes in future.

Molly Mae's Instagram story which violated the ASA's rules

Image source, PA Media

What are the rules?

This is the third time Molly-Mae has been called out by the ASA since 2020.

But she is by no means the first influencer to have been ticked off for not labelling an ad correctly on social media.

Newsbeat spoke to the ASA’s compliance executive Ed Senior last year and he told us that “overall compliance was disappointing”.

The rules say content has to “be clear, obvious and identifiable as advertising”.

Putting a hashtag #ad is one way, but he says they could also verbally say it’s an advert at the start of a video.

“It needs to be clear and obviously up front, prior to engagement. So that’s why, even when they added #ad at the end, it wouldn’t be enough to comply with the rules,” Ed said.

But what happens if the rules are broken?

As you’d expect, there are different levels of sanctions.

Ed says the ASA will get someone to amend the content so it follows the rules, or get them to remove it.

If things escalate, people can be placed on a public list, with the ASA working with platforms to remove further content and eventually even referring them to legal authorities.

The ASA has told Newsbeat there are measures in place specifically for influencers, including a non-compliance webpage which calls out influencers who fail to label their content as ads – so naming and shaming basically.

From January, there has also been an “on-platform targeted ads sanction” on a handful of influencers who have been either unwilling or unable to consistently label when their posts are ads.

“We took out ads on Instagram, specifically flagging influencers who routinely break our rules and warning consumers about their content,” a spokesman added.

Newsbeat has asked Molly-Mae’s management for any additional comment.

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