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24 January 2019, 11:31 | Updated: 24 January 2019, 11:33
Millie Mackintosh has been named among influencers who have breached rule surrounding paid posts, and has now pledged to be more transparent or risk punishments such as a fine or even imprisonment following a crackdown from the Competition Markets Authority.
Millie Macintosh is among 16 stars and influencers who have agreed to be more clear about their promotional posts on Instagram.
The former Made in Chelsea star, along with the likes of Rita Ora, Alexa Chung and Zoella, are some of the stars who cash in from their social media, with companies and brand offering cash or freebies in exchanges for posts.
Under consumer protection law, influencers are required to state clearly if they have received payment for products they endorse, either in gifts, money, or loan of the products.
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Following the announcement of my partnership with @klarna.uk, I’m excited to share a peek at last month’s launch! Head to my blog for the full video and to find out how your brand can win a visit from me, mentoring from Klarna execs, free use of their online payment system for a year and a cash prize of £10,000. 😊 #ad
However, some influencers fail to do so or make it sufficiently clear, which can lead impressionable followers to believe their endorsements of products are genuine.
Now the Competition Markets Authority (CMA) are helping to crack down by signing up leading influencers to set an example.
Mackintosh, Ora and Chung are the first wave of influencers to be approached by the CMA and were targeted based on the size of their following and the fact that they had previously published posts that were in breach of the rules.
They have all now made a formal agreement to follow the rules, and in cases where an influencer has failed to comply by the rules they could lead to a fine or even imprisonment.
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Felt like a hair change after looking at brunettes for a while and thinking “I can’t remember what being a brunette felt like...I kinda wanna try it again” (the last time my hair was this dark I think I was 20/21! (You can go back through my Youtube and find that if you fancy it) don’t get me wrong, I LOVED my blonde hair, but wanted to do something different for autumn winter & was feeling particularly brave! @samantha.cusick & @adamcookehair sorted me right out! Not only is Sam the queen of blondes and balayage, she knows how to knock up the perfect brunette potion! Thanks guys! 💗 🍁 AUTUMN READY🍁 *hair swish*
Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, said: "Influencers can have a huge impact on what their fans decide to buy. People could, quite rightly, feel misled if what they thought was a recommendation from someone they admired turns out to be a marketing ploy.
"You should be able to tell as soon as you look at a post if there is some form of payment or reward involved, so you can decide whether something is really worth spending your hard-earned money on.
"The enforcement action taken by the CMA has seen a number of social media stars pledge to be more transparent when posting online. It also sends a clear message to all influencers, brands and businesses that they must be open and clear with their followers. We will also continue our work to secure more improvement in this space."
Others who have promised to follow the rules are along with Chung, Ora and Mackintosh are: Mario Falcone, Alexandra "Binky" Felstead, Goulding, Holly Hagan, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Michelle Keegan, Iskra Lawrence, Megan McKenna, Chloe Sims, Louise Thompson, Dina Torkia, and James Chapman.