Mrs. Hinch's Instagram posts have been banned by UK watchdog
The importance of 'ad' labels.
Posts by the household cleaning influencer have been banned on Instagram because of the lack of 'ad' labels on her content.
Sophie Hinchliffe aka Mrs Hinch has over 4.6 million followers on her Instagram account where she shares helpful cleaning tips and products with her fans.
Since last January, there have been issues with her failure to post 'ad' labels on Instagram posts.
On January 7th 2022, she posted a story featuring a notebook filled with her writing and wrote: "If you’re a little mad like me tap here for yours."
She also linked the notebook which brought followers to Amazon.
Her story ended with the front cover of the notebook which read, "Mrs Hinch Life in Lists" while Hinchliffe stated: "In my own notebook of course."
That post got 34 complaints of people saying it wasn't clear enough that it was an ad for her own brand.
Hinchliffe explained that the notebook was her brand and that it was still available to buy in retailers. She believed it was clear that the post was an ad and that it was her own product that she was promoting.
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The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the commercial intent of the post was "ambiguous" and that it would have expected it to have included an ad label.
The ASA noted that the line "Mrs Hinch Life in Lists" and her statement that it was "In my own notebook of course" only appeared at the end of the ad.
They said: "We considered the ad was not immediately clear as to Ms Hinchliffe’s commercial relationship with the notebook."
It ruled the ad must not appear again and that Mrs Hinch must change the way she posts ads on Instagram from now on.
In a separate ruling, the ASA also banned another Instagram post from January 27th last year.
This post featured heart-shaped bowls of varying sizes and the text wrote: "On a right roll here. Even put some nibbles (in my own Hinch heart bowls, I love em) #hinchxtesco."
Followers complained about this story too and Tesco said that they have no control over the product so didn't make the connection between Mrs Hinch and the Tesco stores.
Hinchliffe and Tesco confirmed that Hinchliffe received royalties for the products that formed part of her range in the store but that the ad was not a part of their agreement. That partnership had expired on November 1st, 2021.
Hinchliffe said the ad was created "organically" and not as part of any collaboration to market the products.
As with the first ruling, Hinchliffe said she would include an 'ad' label in future when showing products she had designed, and would continue to do so for up to 12 months after the products had been available to buy.
The ASA said: "Whilst that text may have given some indication to consumers that Ms Hinchliffe had been involved in designing the bowls, it was not explicitly made clear, and we considered that it was also not clear that she received royalties from their sale."
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