Alpro was told to make sure its online adverts were clearly identifiable as marketing campaigns by the ASA, after a marketing tweet from television presenter AJ Odudu did not contain an identifier.
The ASA received a complaint about a tweet from Odudu, dated June 13, which stated “FAVE summer snack vibes @Alpro_UK … #Alpro #GoOn”. The advertising watchdog ruled the tweet must be removed, after concluding the tweet was not clearly an advert despite containing a link to Alpro’s Twitter feed and its campaign slogan.
An ASA statement said: “We told Alpro (UK) Ltd and Ms Odudu to ensure that their future marketing communications were obviously identifiable as such, for example by including an identifier such as ‘#ad’.”
Alpro believed the tweet was editorial content
Alpro said it believed the tweet was defined as editorial content as Odudu drafted the tweet herself, and was delivered in her own style. It therefore believed the published tweet was outside the scope of the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) code, and did not need a marketing identifier.
The ASA, however, said the plant-based food manufacturer’s contractual agreement with Odudu meant the company had a degree of control over the tweet, and was it therefore marketing. The contract said Odudu’s tweet should contain Alpro’s key messages, and could be edited by the company if necessary.
An Alpro spokeswoman said: “Although we do not believe that, in practice, the Twitter post was an advertisement, because we did not exercise the level of content control required to make it so, our contract with the blogger gave us the right to exercise that control, and we believe that it is on these grounds that the ASA has ruled.
‘Disappointed that the ASA did not accept an informal resolution’
“We were disappointed that the ASA did not accept an informal resolution as is usually the case, but understand why they were keen to publicise the detail of their ruling in order to guide other advertisers. As ever, we will continue to ensure that social media posts which are advertising are identified as such.”
Meanwhile, the ASA ruled against Kent-based Taywell Ice Creams earlier this month, over its claims for using the terms ‘say no to added sugar’ and ‘redefined sugar free’. The watchdog also banned a TV commercial for Diageo’s rum brand Captain Morgan, after it claimed the advert implied alcohol could boost popularity and confidence.
Alpro ASA ruling – at a glance
- Tweet by TV presenter AJ Odudu ordered to be removed
- Tweet ruled as marketing, with no obvious identifier it was an advert
- ASA said Alpro contract with Odudu meant the tweet was not editorial content