It had no #ad or #sponsored hashtag.
Yet a paid post by influencer Ashy Bines has survived disclosure laws, unscathed by advertising watchdogs this month.
The Instagram advertisement under question was a two minute video post by the influencer for hair brand Georgie Mane.
The advertisement depicted Bines in a home setting, discussing the benefits of the hair mask product.
While no commercial disclosure tags were used, complaints filed with the Advertising Standards Board around legal requirements failed and the case was dismissed.
“As per the Australian standards there is no #ad #sponsored on any of her posts regarding this product,” one complaint read.
”It is deceitful from Ms Bines and @GeorgieMane as they are clearly trying to make this look like it’s not an advertisement when it clearly is one.”
In her response to the Board, Bines said the use of a discount code and “swipe up” function clearly illustrated it was a paid promotion.
The Board agreed.
“The panel considered that the clear focus of this Instagram story was on the product, with the influencer showing close-up shots of the product and detailing the benefits of the product.
“The panel considered that the focus on the product and the inclusion of the discount code at the end would make it clear to the relevant audience of Ashy Bines followers that this was sponsored content.”
The landmark ruling has far-reaching implications for influencer marketing, with many disclosing paid endorsements through relevant tags and hashtags.