Fourteen women and two men who promote products and services to their fan bases on social media have pledged to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that they will henceforth make it clear when they are being paid in any way for their endorsement, making it worth nothing.

The women named by the CMA , after an investigation into the murky nature of selling on social media, are model and writer Alexa Chung, Alexandra Felstead (Made in Chelsea TV) singer Ellie Goulding, Holly Hagan (Geordie Shore TV), designer and model Rosie Huntington – Whiteley, actress Michelle Keegan, model Iskra Lawrence, Camilla Mackintosh (Made in Chelsea TV) Megan McKenna (Reality TV), singer Rita Ora, Chloe Sims (Only Way is Essex TV), blogger Zoe Sugg, Louise Thompson (Made in Chelsea TV) and blogger Dina Tonkia. The men named are blogger James Chapman and Mario Falcone (Only Way is Essex TV). If they fail to comply with the agreement reached with the CMA they could be taken to court, fined heavily or face prison sentences of up to two years.

All of the above sixteen were being investigated because they may have repeatedly broken the rules, which require them to make it clear when an endorsement has been paid for.


Former deputy PM Sir Nick Clegg has started earning the high salary he is now paid by Facebook, by defending Mark Zuckerberg’s firm against claims it damages the lives of young people with posts of gory images of self-harm, and the glorification of suicide, on its Instagram pages. Instagram currently stands accused of driving a 14 year old schoolgirl, Molly Russell, who killed herself in 2017 after viewing Instagram posts about suicide.

Shown some of the sickening pictures from Instagram in a BBC interview Clegg, who has three sons aged 16, 14 and 9, was asked “Slit wrists, smeared blood, a girl cuddling a teddy bear with ‘This world is so cruel and I don’t want to see it any more’ – You’ve got three children, would you let them anywhere near that” and Clegg replied “No, of course not”.

Despite this he claimed his new employer had been a “force for good” that “had helped troubled young people”.

Wonder if Clegg will ever resign his well-paid puffing position, and his £7 million Californian house on a matter of principle?


Airline Cathy Pacific has won plaudits for standing by an error it had made when publishing prices for first class travel in its New Years Day sale.

The first-class fare from Vietnam to New York, usually £12,700 was mistakenly shown as £536 for August, cutting more than £12,000 off the fare. Cathy Pacific acknowledged their mistake, blamed on human error, but congratulated those who had bought the tickets at the “very good surprise price” and hoped they would make 2019 special.

Other airlines may have tried to wriggle out…


Freida Pinto, the Indian actress who rose to fame in the hit 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire has hit out at cosmetic firm L’Oreal, claiming they lightened her skin colour in a photo they used to promote an eyeshadow range.

Pinto, who became the face of L’Oreal in 2009 says that she specifically excluded products designed to lighten skin colour from her contracts.

L’Oreal denies that they lightened Ms Pinto’s skin for their eyeshadow ad.


A Scots guardsman, Stephen McWhirter, is set to quit the Army after they used his photograph in a recruitment ad alongside copy that read “Snowflakes – the Army needs you and your compassion”.

McWhirter, who pointed out that “snowflake” was a modern derogatory term for oversensitive young people and that he had been exposed to ridicule since the ad appeared.


Invidious and greedy overdraft charges imposed by our banks are to be severely cut after investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCI), the City watchdog.

One example of the scale of the rip-offs is treatment meted out by Natwest to customers who go £15 in the red where no overdraft has been agreed. These unfortunates are then charged £8 per day up to £72 per month, a figure way in excess of the actual debt. In some cases the daily fees represent an interest charge of 20% per day, far higher than the 0.8% a day cap the FCI imposed on payday lenders in a clean-up three years ago.

Rulings on essential changes to bank’s behaviour needed are expected to be made by the FCI by June this year.


Online fashion firms have been selling items trimmed with “faux” fur that has actually come from rabbits.

This has been revealed in tests carried out by Humane Society International (HSI) on coloured pom-poms on a jumper from boohoo.com and a headband from accessories firm Zacharia. Both firms sell through Amazon and both boast anti-fur policies, claiming they were unaware that the fake fur was real.

Because of the appalling conditions animals are kept in on fur farms, especially those in China, real fur can be produced more cheaply than fake. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned ads promoting the items from the two companies, on the grounds that they are misleading.

In the past “faux” fur tested by HSI has been found to come from domestic dogs and cats, and foxes.


Transport for London (TFL) is to axe ads for junk foods from Tube stations and bus stops from next month as part of London mayor Sadiq Khan’s war on child obesity.

Ads for mayonnaise, pesto and olive oil are also thought to be included and the ban is estimated to cost deficit-hit TFL £13 million a year in lost revenue. Other products that may be affected are butter, cheese and stock cubes.

Some MPs have accused Khan of “pointless virtue signalling” and “grandstanding” – previous bans imposed by him have been for “body-shaming” where the ad featured a slim model in a bikini, “overtly sexual” where a woman in tights showed her bare back and the “sexual objectification” of an ad showing the topless torso of a fifty year old man.

Marketing Matters Sep/Oct 2018 ISSUE 64

BIAS AT BBC TODAY PROGRAMME The BBC’s Radio Four Today news programme is under attack for claiming that research into the last budget …

BAD DECISION? A body that clears ads before they go public has refused to clear an animated one for Iceland stores that features the destruction of …

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AIRLINE SEAT SCAM Those booking airline seats as families and want to be sure they sit together are being squeezed by the airlines for extra …

TIM PULLS IT OFF We have to confess admiration for Tim Martin, the chairman of pub company Wetherspoons. Martin has prepared his 880 …

NISSAN BOSS NEARLY PULLS IT OFF Following the £700 million fine recently handed down to Audi for selling cars rigged to cheat on diesel …

BLACKMAIL SCAM CIRCULATING Readers are advised that blackmail emails are circulating demanding £500 to not send details of the victim’s …