Social media stars including Zoella, Rita Ora, Ellie Goulding and Michelle Keegan have pledged they will clearly state when they’ve been paid to endorse brands online.
This follows warnings from the Competition and Markets Authority against the potentially unlawful practice of online influencers being paid for endorsing products without disclosing that they were being rewarded by the company.
Rewards can include money, gifts of services or products, or the loan of a product.
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CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli said, “Influencers can have a huge impact on what their fans decide to buy. People could, quite rightly, feel misled if what they thought was a recommendation from someone they admired turns out to be a marketing ploy.
“You should be able to tell as soon as you look at a post if there is some form of payment or reward involved, so you can decide whether something is really worth spending your hard-earned money on.”
The celebrities named by the Competition and Markets Authority are:
- Writer and model Alexa Chung
- TOWIE star Mario Falcone
- Made in Chelsea star Alexandra ‘Binky’ Felstead
- Singer Ellie Goulding
- Geordie Shore star Holly Hagan
- Designer and model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
- Our Girl actor Michelle Keegan
- Model Iskra Lawrence
- Made in Chelsea star Camilla ‘Millie’ Mackintosh
- Ex on the Beach star Megan McKenna
- Singer Rita Ora
- TOWIE star Chloe Sims
- Vlogger Zoe Sugg (AKA Zoella)
- Made in Chelsea star Louise Thompson
- Vlogger Dina Torkia
- Vlogger Jim Chapman
The authority also says that warning letters have been sent to a number of other celebrities, urging them to review their practices where concerns have been identified.
Many celebrities use the hashtags “#ad” or “#sponsored” to communicate they have been paid to endorse a product.