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Sunday, Sep 20, 2020

Influencers' Instagram posts banned by watchdog

A trio of influencers have had Instagram posts touting diet products banned by the UK's ad regulator.

TV stars Katie Price and Lauren Goodger promoted a BoomBod shot drink on their accounts, while Georgia Harrison showed off Protein Revolution's weight loss gummies.

The Advertising Standards Authority said the influencers' posts were irresponsible.

"The ads must not appear again in the same form," it ruled.

BoomBod claims its "10-calorie shots" stop people from snacking or overeating, while Protein Revolution says its V24 gummies keep cravings at bay thanks to a vegetable extract.

The ASA also banned several posts posted by BoomBod and Protein Revolution via their own accounts.

"It was clear from the ads that the influencers did not need to lose weight in order to achieve a healthy weight," the ASA wrote in the BoomBod ruling.

"I can't get enough of it!" Ms Price wrote in September when she posted a photo of the drink, before going on to describe how it contained vitamins and natural fibre but no laxatives.

In March, Ms Goodger shared a photo of herself wearing athletic clothing and holding a BoomBod box.

"Can't believe these amazing results I've gotten with @boombod's 7 day Achiever," the former Only Way Is Essex cast member posted.

"The difference I've noticed from using this stuff is amazing."

'Artificially thin'

The regulator said it had concerns that the photo of Ms Goodger appeared to have been edited to make her waist look "artificially thin" resulting in a situation "that the images were not representative of her real body shape".

The ASA said the ads from Ms Price and Ms Goodger had created the impression that it was "necessary or advisable" for people who were already slim to use products that suppress their appetites.

This represented "an irresponsible message", the watchdog added.

One fitness expert told the BBC that dieting product companies often rely on health and wellness themes to market their goods.

"It's a real shame the information online [is sometimes] distorted by these companies and influencers," personal trainer Will Latta said.

He added that people who suffer from self-esteem issues, anxiety, and eating disorders were among those who tended to get drawn in.

Weight-loss gummies

Love Island contestant Ms Harrison shared a photo of herself promoting weight loss gummies in March.

"They're delicious and when taken with water they suppress your hunger cravings," she posted.

At the time, many of her 847,000 followers called her out for being irresponsible and ignorant about body image.

"We received assurances from both advertisers that they have/are removing the posts," a spokesman for the ASA told the BBC.

This is not the first time the authority has raised concern that influencers' social media posts have encouraged people to lose weight in unhealthy ways.

Reality star Jemma Lucy had a post of her advertising weight loss coffee banned in July, for example.

The ASA has published an advertising guide for influencers.

Ms Price, Ms Goodger, and Ms Harrison did not respond to requests for comment.


Quote of the Day

Government 'help' to business is just as disastrous as government persecution... the only way a government can be of service to national prosperity is by keeping its hands off.

Ayn Rand
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