An Instagram post by fashion influencer Matthew Zorpas showed him being fitted for a suit, accompanied by the caption “A man in a well Made to Measure suit will always have a better attitude. Get 25% off your #madetomeasure experience at @brooksbrothers.unitedkingdom in Regent Street until March 31st”, followed by various hashtags.
A complainant challenged whether the post was clearly identifiable as an advertisement. It followed three previous posts by Matthew which were expressly labelled as paid, sponsored content, and which were posted to the platform as part of a contractual agreement between Matthew and Brooks Brothers, the terms of which required Matthew to publish a certain minimum number of “stories”.
Both parties argued that the fourth post was an “organic” post which was outside of the scope of the agreement and therefore not sponsored by Brooks Brothers in any way. The ASA disagreed, noting that Matthew had used specific hashtags stipulated in the agreement to be used during March to promote the Brooks Brothers campaign, and concluded that Brooks Brothers had a requisite level of control over the content of the post for it to be considered a marketing communication. As such, the post was in breach of the CAP code and both Matthew and Brooks Brothers were instructed to ensure that all future advertisements were clearly identifiable as marketing communications, for example by being accompanied with the hashtag “#ad”.