Major blow for influencer Sophie Cachia as promoting watchdog rules her sponsored post for a ‘life-changing product’ breached standards – and the corporate blames HER for the stuff-up
Influencer Sophia Cachia breached promoting standards with a sponsored Instagram post for a phone-charging cable she described as ‘life-changing’.
Nevertheless, the Ad Standards Community Panel ruled it was in actual fact promoting, noting that Ms Cachia is an envoy for Cygnett.
In an unexpected twist, Cygnett threw Ms Cachia under the bus in its response to the Panel, revealing the Australian Survivor star uploaded the post without ‘prior approval’ and the brand should not be held answerable for her stuff-up.
Influencer Sophia Cachia breached promoting standards with a sponsored Instagram post for a phone-charging cable she described as ‘life-changing’
The watchdog upheld a criticism from a member of the general public in its ruling on June 8, determining Ms Cachia’s post ‘did breach Section 2.7’ of the AANA Code of Ethics, which specifically requires advertisers to be sure that any branded content or native promoting is ‘clearly distinguishable’ to the relevant audience.
Ms Cachia’s post on Instagram Stories showed her holding up charging cable with the text: ‘Found my baby!!! @cygnett No person charges my phone like this cord here.
‘Every time I lose it, it’s devastating (aka Bobby steals it for his iPad) I’ll neverrrrrrr return to some other cord. Not spon, just simply life changing whenever you need your phone continuously & charged SO fast.’
Sher added a link to the Cygnett website.
A member of the general public later complained to Ad Standards: ‘Sophie is clearly getting paid to be an ongoing ambassador for this product/brand [Cygnett] and may clearly display that it’s a paid post.’
Ms Cachia didn’t make it clear her post was a paid advert for tech accessories company Cygnett and in actual fact said in her Story it was ‘not spon’. Nevertheless, the Ad Standards Community Panel ruled it was in actual fact promoting, noting that Ms Cachia is an envoy for Cygnett
Responding to the watchdog, Cygnett acknowledged it ‘has an agreement with Sophie Cachia regarding paid Cygnett brand endorsements on social media’, but said this particular post was uploaded without the corporate’s ‘prior knowledge’.
Cygnett said the post was uploaded ‘outside [Ms Cachia’s] paid agreement’ with the brand and was ‘not included within the content calendar’, nor was it ‘requested or supported in anyway by Cygnett’.
Cygnett acknowledged its obligations that each one sponsored posts be labelled as such and passed the blame on to its ambassador, adding: ‘If an influencer decides to post without permission or knowledge of a brand, why is the brand held responsible?’
The Ad Standards Community Panel upheld the criticism, agreeing the post was an advert but that it was not clearly distinguished as such by Ms Cachia.
The Panel noted her post had many hallmarks of sponsored content that will be easily recognised by Ms Cachia’s followers, including the link to Cygnett’s website, the positioning of the product in her hand and the glowing endorsement text.
Nevertheless, Ms Cachia created ambiguity by saying it was ‘not spon’ and the Panel due to this fact ruled ‘ the post was not clearly distinguishable as promoting’.
Every day Mail Australia has contacted Ms Cachia via her business email address for her beauty company Aisuru.
Cygnett said in its response to the Panel that Ms Cachia (seen on Australian Survivor) shared the post without ‘prior approval’ and the brand should not be held answerable for her stuff-up