Marnie Simpson in trouble with the ASA

Newcastle’s famous party girl and controversial reality TV show personality, Marnie Simpson, found herself making headlines again this week, and for once they had nothing to do with her dramatic love life.

The 25-year-old Geordie Shore star was reprimanded by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for failing to make clear she had been paid to post about two brands on Snapchat.

In one Snap she is seen promoting a Diamond Whites tooth polish product with text stating “50% off everything from Diamond Whites”, and in another Snap, she is showcasing a pair of grey contact lenses soon to be launched by I Spy Eyes.

The CAP Code provides definite rules on the relationship between brands and influencers; that is if a brand has control over the content of a post and the person posting that content receives payment, a freebie or indeed a perk of any kind, the post is an ad, and this must be apparent to consumers.

The ASA has been working hard recently to promote CAP code regulations on this subject, yet brands and influencers themselves are not forthcoming with marking paid-for content with #ad. With the suggestion that as much as 40% of marketing budgets are now being channelled via influencer marketing, this particular ASA upheld challenge highlights the ongoing battle with the regulatory body and brands.

If you’re recruiting a celebrity influencer, or micro-influencer, or paying anyone to post about your brand or business on their social media account, we can help you meet the regulatory guidelines and avoid big headlines for all the wrong reasons. Contact us at

Sarah Burns is Prizeology’s Chief Prizeologist, an IPM Board Director, and a SCAMbassador for National Trading Standards Scams Team.

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