The ad showed Millie Mackintosh, reality TV star of Made in Chelsea, promoting J2O Spritz. The ad was one of a series that Mackintosh posted, as part of commercial endorsement for the brand.
A video post from her Instagram account showed yoga scenes, concluding with the text ‘J2O Spritz #BlendRecommends.’ The text below stated “80s vogeuing [sic] x yoga @Houseofvoga. More of my #BlendRecommends with @drinkj2o Spritz to come! #sp”.
What is #sp?
Britvic Soft Drinks said the ad could be identified as marketing, because the end frame was branded and included both the product name and the campaign’s hashtag #BlendRecommends.
Each post included #sp (to refer to ‘sponsored post’) to show it was marketing communication. Mackintosh’s post for J20 Spritz included the text “More of my #BlendRecommends with @drinkj2o Spritz to come!” to indicate it was part of a series and partnership with J20.
But the Advertising Standard's Authority (ASA) said that, although the branded shot showed it was an ad, it was not sufficiently strong to ensure it was obvious because it came at the end of the video. It added that consumers should be aware they were viewing marketing content priorto engagement.
“In addition, we considered it was unlikely to be immediately apparent to consumers what the hashtag “#sp” was intended to refer to and, as such, it was also not sufficient to ensure it was obvious the post was a marketing communication,” it said in its ruling.
The text “More of my #BlendRecommends with @drinkj2o Spritz to come!” was also considered by the ASA.
“Millie Mackintosh’s relationship ‘with’ J2O might indicate to some consumers that the brand had been involved in the process, but it did not clearly indicate that the post was a marketing communication,as opposed to, for example, material that had been financially sponsored but over which the creator retained editorial control.”
In response to the ruling, a spokesperson from Britvic said: “We are committed to marketing our drinks responsibly. We are disappointed that the ASA has upheld the single complaint regarding our recent J2O Spritz social media campaign.
"However, we accept its decision and will ensure future advertising on twitter and other social media is more identifiable as such.”