Lauren Goodger Instagram post banned over ad disclosure failure

A Instagram post by reality star Lauren Goodger promoting a foreign exchange trading tips service has been banned after she failed to clearly mark it as an advert.

The post by the former Only Way Is Essex star for @hannahd.fx, seen on March 4, featured an image showing a WhatsApp conversation with a screenshot of purported foreign exchange trading profits and a message that stated “£1730 profits in the last 2 days”.

A caption under the image stated: “Let me introduce you all to @hannahd.fx. She is a Forex trader who sends out trades everyday which take under 5 minutes to place. Everyone who joins her team, receives a FREE Forex beginners [sic] course worth £150, to help you learn while you earn. She has been consistently profitable and has the freedom to work anywhere in the world. If you want to start 2021 right and earn a second source of income, message @hannahd.fx on Instagram to join her team and to get started.”

A reader complained that the post was not obviously identifiable as an ad and the claims about profitability were misleading.

The “persons unknown” trading as @hannahd.fx told the Advertising Standards Authority that they would ensure their future marketing communications did not breach the rules.

Goodger said @hannahd.fx had sent her a script and dictated the contents of the post’s caption, and she had been remunerated by them for making the post.

She told the ASA she would ensure her future marketing communications featured prominent identifiers such as “ad”.

The ASA said: “We understood that Ms Goodger was promoting @hannahd.fx’s foreign exchange trading tips service. However, we noted that the post did not feature the label ‘#ad’, or a similar, prominent identifier.

“In the absence of clear and prominent identifiers, we concluded the post was not obviously identifiable as marketing communication.”

The ASA said it had not seen any evidence to support the claims about profits in the ad, and ruled that both of them were misleading.

The ASA concluded: “The ad must not appear again in the form complained about. We told person(s) unknown trading as @hannahd.fx and Lauren Goodger to ensure that their ads were obviously identifiable as marketing communications – for example by including clear and prominent identifiers – and that they did not make profitability claims for foreign exchange tips services unless they held evidence to that effect.”