Ms Hinch Instagram posts suspended for missing ‘promotional labels’

Popular cleaning influencer Ms Hinch has been banned from two Instagram posts after she failed to clarify that she was promoting her own products.

Sophie Hinchcliffe, who has 4.6 million followers on her Mrs Hinch Instagram account, posted a story on Jan. 7, 2022 that included a notebook full of writing and the caption, “If you’re a little crazy like me, type here for your.”

When users clicked the link in the story, they were taken to a relevant product page on Amazon. The video ended with the notebook cover reading “Mrs Hinch Life in Lists,” while Hinchcliffe said, “In my own notebook, of course.”

The post drew 34 complaints that it wasn’t overtly recognizable as an advertisement for Hinchcliffe’s own notebook.

Hinchliffe confirmed that the notebook was her own design and was still available from multiple retailers, but believed it was clear the post was an advertisement and that it was her own product she was promoting.

She said she would like to include “advertisements” in future social media posts that link to her own products in the future.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the post’s commercial intent was “ambiguous” and that it expected it to include a conspicuous label identifying it as an ad.

Noting that the line “Mrs Hinch Life in Lists” and her statement that it was “of course in my own notebook” only appeared at the bottom of the ad, the ASA concluded, “We didn’t think the ad was immediate.” clear on Ms. Hinchliffe’s business relationship with the notebook.”

It ruled that the ad should not appear again.

In a separate ruling, the ASA also banned another Instagram post from January 27 last year, in which Hinchliffe showed heart-shaped bowls of different sizes and the caption: “Here on a real roll. Even throw in some kibble (in my own Hinch heart bowls, love them) #hinchxtesco.”

Viewers again complained that Hinchliffe had not made it clear that she was promoting her own line of products. Tesco said it has no control over the items and does not consider them to be related to the supermarket.

Both Hinchliffe and Tesco confirmed that the clean-fluencer received royalties on the products that formed part of their range, but that the ad was not part of their agreement, which expired on November 1, 2021.

Hinchliffe said the ad was created “organically” and not as part of a commitment to market the products. She said the post was similar to her style of content, which isn’t ads she created while relaxing or cooking at home.

As with the first ruling, Hinchliffe said she will add a “promotional” label in the future when showing products she has designed and will do so for up to 12 months after the products have been made available for purchase.

The ASA said: “While this text may have given consumers an indication that Ms Hinchliffe had a hand in the design of the bowls, it was not specifically made clear and we felt it was not clear either that she was paying royalties received from their sale.

“We also realized that the ad was not similar in style to promotional content created by Sophie Hinchliffe, a home cleaning influencer who frequently shared lifestyle tips on Instagram.

“As such, we felt it was necessary to make it explicit when content like this, where she was giving advice to her followers, was connected to a commercial deal from which she benefited financially.”

It ordered the ad not to appear again.

Reporting by PA Ms Hinch Instagram posts suspended for missing ‘promotional labels’

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