As we head towards the culmination of two months of sun, sniping and sitting around being bored – yes, I’m talking about the Love Island final, scheduled for a live mega-episode this coming Monday evening – I was entertained to see ITV and the ASA have coupled up to produce a ‘cheat sheet’ to help Love Islanders navigate the choppy waters of online promotions.
When they finally get out of the villa and get their social media back, the Love Islanders will naturally want to capitalise on their flirtation with fame by being paid to promote their favourite brands. Of course, that’s fine and dandy – why else would they have chosen to maroon themselves on the island in the first place? However, to ensure that their adoring fans aren’t misled, it’s important that all parties know and understand how and when the advertising rules apply.
I know this won’t be news to loyal readers of the Prizeology blog, but this at-a-glance checklist explains that if a company pays the Islanders to post a promotion or to endorse a product or service on social media, they are actually advertising and should therefore label the post as an ad (both the ASA and the Competition and Markets Authority recommend upfront disclosures such as #ad).
The cheat sheet is very accessible (which is probably lucky) and nicely produced in fluoro colours with a repeated heart motif (ahhh). It talks about being ‘true to yourself and your followers’, which, in terms of how you should live your life, is something I’m sure we can all get behind.
It sweetly spells out that A is for authenticity, B is for brands, C is for control, D is for discount codes, E is for enforcement, F is for followers, G is for gifts and H is for hashtags. The rest of the alphabet appears to be missing, so maybe the ASA didn’t want to overload the Love Islanders’ heat-addled brains and I to Z will be forthcoming at a later date, but nonetheless the key points are covered.
Creating the cheat sheet is a smart move by both ITV and the ASA. ITV gets to fulfil one aspect of its ‘duty of care’ commitments to contestants by giving them the nous and know-how to ensure they avoid getting into trouble online, while some of that Love Island sun tan lotion and glamour rubs off on the ASA – a match made in heaven, I’d say.
So Tommy Fury and Mollie-Mae look set to win (according to the bookies anyway) and it’s almost over for this summer. I’ve got to confess I’m not exactly devastated – eight weeks is a long time in anyone’s life and I’ll be glad to get back to reality – but I’m really going to miss the genius of Ian Stirling (am I alone in watching mostly for the Uber Eats ad breaks?). Still, it looks like a return to Love Island isn’t far away as apparently a winter edition will be introduced early next year…
Sarah Burns is Prizeology’s Chief Prizeologist.