A group of celebrities and social media influencers have agreed to be much clearer when they have been paid or received free gifts to promote products online.
Singers Ellie Goulding and Rita Ora and reality TVs stars Millie Mackintosh and Megan McKenna are among 16 celebrities who have made a formal commitment to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to be more transparent over their endorsement deals when posting to social media.
Online endorsements from celebrities and influencers can help boost brand sales through exposure to their millions of followers. However, the CMA has previously warned some posts could break consumer protection law, which requires any payment or reward for promoting a brand to be clearly declared.
CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli said: “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 enforcement action taken by the CMA has seen a number of social media stars pledge to be more transparent when posting online. It also sends a clear message to all influencers, brands and businesses that they must be open and clear with their followers. We will also continue our work to secure more improvement in this space.”
The celebrities named by the CMA who have agreed to change how they post are:
– Writer and model Alexa Chung
– The Only Way Is Essex stars Mario Falcone and Chloe Sims
– Made In Chelsea stars Alexandra ‘Binky’ Felstead, Louise Thompson and Millie Mackintosh
– Singers Ellie Goulding and Rita Ora
– Reality TV stars Holly Hagan and Megan McKenna
– Actress Michelle Keegan
– Models Iskra Lawrence and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
– YouTube star Zoe Sugg, better known as Zoella
– Fashion bloggers Dina Torkia and James Chapman
The CMA said it had made no ruling on whether the celebrities involved had broken consumer law, but said all had co-operated with the CMA and volunteered to make changes to their practices.
It said it has sent a number of warning letters to other celebrities, urging them to review their practices where concerns have been identified.