The UK’s advertising watchdog was asked to investigate a regional news website’s Twitter account after a series of posts linked to advertorials without signposting them as such.
The Advertising Standards Authority agreed to informally resolve the complaint after Hull Live, the website of the Hull Daily Mail, promised to follow the correct labelling rules in future.
- May 22, 2019
- January 13, 2016
- October 12, 2010
The UK code of non-broadcast advertising and direct and promotional marketing, as set out by the ASA, states marketing communications should be “obviously identifiable” as such.
Press Gazette understands about half a dozen tweets from July and August were reported to the ASA by a member of the public (scroll down for screenshots).
The complainant, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “I noticed that there were adverts being published by Hull Live every few days on social media (specifically Twitter) under the guise of ‘news’ but in reality, they were adverts.
“I was appalled that despite a number of people openly challenging their behaviour of posting adverts that could be easily be confused as news, they still continued to do it.”
ASA announced the case had been informally resolved last week.
An ASA spokesperson told Press Gazette: “The complaint concerned a number of tweets on Hull Live’s Twitter page that linked to advertorials but the tweets themselves were not labelled as ads.
“The publisher confirmed that in future, the posts will follow the labelling rules. We resolved the case informally.”
A search of the Hull Live Twitter account shows a number of posts using #ad alongside links to advertorial content.
A Reach spokesperson said: “The ASA provided us with advice that we were happy to comply with, and we made the appropriate changes to resolve the matter.”
An article about Black Friday deals failed to make clear that external links to products included in the copy were part of an affiliate marketing deal, the ASA ruled.