Influencers vs The Advertising Standards Authority

Katie Price came under fire from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) recently for breaching advertising regulations. In August 2023 she took to Instagram to irresponsibly promote a diet that fell below 800 calories a day, just over a third of the recommended daily amount for an adult woman. Here, Eleanor Drury looks at how the post breached regulations and what the consequences are for Ms Price and other influencers who fall short of ASA standards.

The Instagram video followed Ms Price as she made her meals for the day, discussing her efforts to lose weight whilst repeatedly promoting ‘The Skinny Food Co’ and their line of low calorie products that claim to contribute towards better health and wellbeing.

The post stirred up quite the reaction online.  Members of the public slammed Ms Price in the comments for promoting unhealthy eating habits. One user commented that 800 calories is not enough even for a toddler and encouraging her to ‘eat proper food’.

Unsurprisingly, the ASA received complaints about the post, with people stating that it was unrecognisable as an advertisement. This triggered an investigation in line with The UK Code of Non-Broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing (CAP Code). The code specifies standards for accuracy and honesty that businesses and individuals must stick to in promotional communications.


Whilst the post contained the #ad, a practice strongly supported by the ASA to ensure that influencer marketing is easily identifiable, their assessment concluded that given that the identifier was placed at the end of the caption. It was not visible without engaging with the post and expanding the text fully. Therefore, the label was insufficiently prominent to obviously identify the ad as a marketing communication from the outset. Additionally, there was no disclosure that the diet should only be followed on a short-term basis, and no reference within the video nor the caption for people to seek medical advice before embarking on the diet. The ASA also deemed the ad to be in breach of regulations for making specific health claims that were not authorised as per the nutrition and health claims register.

It is understood that Ms Price may be facing an Instagram ban as a result of the ruling, and despite the ASA providing her with guidance on how to ensure posts are compliant, and instructing her to remove the offending post, it currently remains live on her page.

This recent ruling follows a pattern of similar decisions over recent years in which Ms Price is not the first influencer to face criticism. Reality TV stars Jodie Marsh, Chloe Ferry and Lucy Mecklenburgh are among many others who have been subject to investigations by the ASA for inappropriate advertising, in which they were deemed to have fallen short of the regulations by failing to clearly disclose when they are advertising to consumers online.

The ASA provide a number of helpful guides online, including their ‘influencer’s guide to advertising’ for those wishing to ensure compliance with the regulations as e-marketing methods continue to rise in popularity.

If you would like advice on your adverts or marketing then get in touch with our specialist fixed-fee, fast-response team:

[This blog is intended to give general information only and is not intended to apply to specific circumstances. The contents of this blog should not be regarded as legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. All liability is excluded Readers are advised to seek specific legal advice.]

By Eleanor Drury