A complaint was raised in respect of a blog post by The Londoner, on the basis that it was misleading and not clearly identifiable as a commercial marketing communication. The post described the blogger’s family trip to Morocco and featured a photograph of The Londoner in a red dress with the caption “red dress/yellow dress”, which linked to two corresponding products on the Matalan website.

The Londoner and Matalan had previously collaborated on paid-for Instagram content. However, their prior contractual arrangement did not require The Londoner to post anything on their blog and such content was not paid for by Matalan.

However, the ASA upheld the complaint, finding that the links to the products within the blog post were affiliate links, from which The Londoner would receive commission from any associated sales. The links, which appeared alongside the editorial content, were therefore classed as advertisements falling under the remit of the CAP code and the ASA ruled that their commercial nature ought to have been made obvious to consumers.

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