Jul 14, 2022
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Molly Mae Hague in trouble with ad watchdog again over Pretty LittleThing post

Jul 14, 2022

The UK advertising standards watchdog ASA continues to clamp down on errant social media influencers and fashion brands. The latest to come under its scrutiny is Boohoo’s Prettylittlething brand and its creative director/Love Island star Molly-Mae Hague. The body has banned an 'advert', posted on her Instagram Stories, albeit one published in October last year.

Molly-Mae Hague

The Instagram story, which has been ruled as an 'advert', did not make clear its commercial intent, the ruling said. It showed Hague modelling a brown bodycon dress for PrettyLittleThing, with text: “You can actually shop it now on PLT – Couldn’t not make it available for you guys too”.

This was also followed with a direct link to the online fashion retailer’s website, where Hague is a creative director. It becomes the second time she has failed to include any mention of a posting being an ad.

The complainant told the ASA that, while they understood Hague’s position with the retailer, the lack of clarity regarding the post’s advert status meant its commercial intent was unclear.

It also said that the contractual agreement expressly stated the need to “comply with applicable laws and regulations relating to marketing and advertising” – this included using the #ad in posts for the avoidance of doubt.

Prettylittlething said the #ad disclosure had been omitted by mistake and said it had reminded Hague of the requirement to prevent any similar mistakes again.

A spokeswoman for Hague also said the #ad disclosure had been left off by mistake and would be used in future.

The ASA also said it considered that both parties were “jointly responsible for ensuring that marketing activity conducted on Molly-Mae Hague’s account and which promoted Prettylittlething was compliant with the CAP Code”.

It added: “We welcomed the assurances from both Prettylittlething and Molly-Mae Hague that similar posts would include a label such as #ad in future.”

The ASA has been warning it is cracking down on influencers who break publicity rules.

The body has already "named and shamed" three offenders, including In The Style ambassador and reality TV star Charlotte Crosby, for “repeatedly failing to flag ads on her Instagram” account. ASA's public list of non-compliant social media influencers also includes Geordie Shore star Scott Timlin and former Love Island winner Amber Gill

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