Myleene Klass has had a string of Instagram posts banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for failing to identify them as ads, including posts featuring fashion brands Next and Skechers.
Viewers of the posts challenged whether they were identified as ads, with the ad watchdog upholding the complaints.
One of the ads was an Instagram Reel posted by Klass in May 2022 featured text stating “myleeneklass What do you wish they’d taught at school? I asked my mates… […]” along with a video of celebrities answering the question, with some seen with a copy of a book. The video ended with Klass holding a copy of her own book entitled “They don’t teach this at school” while text on-screen said “wish granted”.
The ASA upheld the complaint, saying that it considered that those viewing the video could have believed it was a general discussion rather than being related to the promotion of Klass’ book - adding that it was not until the sixth celebrity was featured that a copy was shown, but even at that point it was not clear Klass was the author.
Next and Skechers posts
Later in May, two Instagram posts and an Instagram Reel on Klass’ account appeared depicting Klass wearing items from retailer Next, and tagged “MyleeneKlassXNext” and “nextofficial”.
They included an Instagram story with an image of the singer wearing a bra top and pink drawstring casual trousers with text which stated “@next official PINK TIE TROUSERS” and an Instagram Reel the same day showed her in a dress and sandals below text stating “My collection selling faster than that orange lambo” accompanied by a laughing face emoji.
A further Instagram post and story in May and June featured Klass in Skechers products, with the story showing her and another woman wearing pink plastic clogs, with the text “Two Of A Kind We’re Twins” and “@the_mutha_ship @skechers_uk didn’t even plan it”.
Skechers told the ASA that it did have a contract with Klass, and the posts were part of the agreement. It noted that the contract required Klass to comply with all applicable laws, including advertising rules.
The brand said it had asked Klass to edit the posts to make the relationship clear to consumers, or to take the posts down, and ensure that all future posts were clearly labelled. It added that it monitored the social media posts of their advertisers, but the number of posts and the unpredictable posting schedule made it impossible to catch every mistake immediately.
Next said it had a manufacturing and endorsement agreement naming Klass, and under the terms Klass was to promote Next by making positive references to the brand in interviews, appearance and on social media, which made clear she had a commercial agreement with Next.
The retailer said it had no involvement in the content of the posts at the heart of the complaint, but it felt that with “nextofficial” being clearly marked on each post and Klass referencing the products she was wearing as Next merchandise made it obvious to consumers that a commercial relationship existed.
Klass to add “ad” to posts in future
In response to the complaints, representatives for Klass said there was confusion as to what was or wasn’t an ad, but Klass had added “ad” to all her posts going forward and would continue to do so.
The watchdog said while it welcomed Klass’ assurance that ad identifiers would be added to posts in future, the timing of the complaint was at a point when the post’s commercial intent was not made clear upfront. All the posts were banned from appearing again in their current form.