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Love Island’s Molly-Mae Hague breached ASA competition rules

4th March 2021 by Edwina Bones

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Giveaways on social media are exceedingly common nowadays, and a great way for influencers and businesses to boost the number of followers they have. Another celebrity however has been found by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to be in breach of the rules governing competitions.

Molly-Mae Hague, who shot to fame when she was a member of Love Island, posted a competition on Instagram. The prizes included tanning foams that were sold under her own brand, Louis Vuitton handbags and Apple products. Participants had to like the post, subscribe to certain Instagram and YouTube accounts and tag a friend to be in with a chance of winning.

The ASA investigated following a number of complaints about whether the winner was in fact selected at random. Molly-Mae supposedly claimed that a member of her management team had manually selected 100 entrants at random and assigned each a number before using a number-picking tool to choose a winner, but one of her previous Instagram Stories suggests that the winner had actually been picked from a list of 25 individuals and there was no evidence to prove that the winner had been selected randomly using computer-generated software.

The influencer said that the response to the competition had been ‘overwhelming and unexpected’, with the competition post receiving well over 1 million likes. She also claimed that she did not believe that the giveaway was a promotion falling within the rules. The ASA held however that the competition had not been administered fairly and that she must take greater steps in future competitions to ensure that they are conducted properly.

Whilst she has defended herself on Instagram, there have been a number of upset entrants posting their feelings on social media, along with other influencers branding her approach as ‘lazy’. This is proof that even if you are not subject to a fine, an investigation such as this can have a considerable impact on your reputation and the trust others place in you. Receiving more interest in a competition than you initially anticipated does not allow you to ignore the rules.

Competitions can really add value to a business but carrying them out wrong can mean that you become noticed for all the wrong reasons. Please contact Edwina Bones at e.bones@laceyssolicitors.co.uk or on 01202 377824 if you would like any assistance with consumer law or competition requirements.

Edwina Bones

Associate — Corporate and Commercial

Direct dial: 01202 205043

Email

Edwina has returned to Laceys after working for Womble Bond Dickinson in Southampton and is an Associate within our Corporate and Commercial team. Edwina specialises in commercial contracts, intellectual property and charity law and has experience in drafting, negotiating and advising on a variety of agreements. Since qualifying in 2011, she has advised a range of businesses in various sectors. This includes a secondment working in-house for a well-known multi-national retailer.

Edwina has been listed in the Legal 500 as having an “incredible knowledge and a drive to do things right’. She enjoys getting to know a client’s business in order that she can provide tailored, practical advice.

Outside of work Edwina enjoys practising yoga, walking her energetic Labrador in the beautiful Dorset countryside and generally keeping active as well as spending quality time with her family and friends.

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