Love Island contestants are to be given a “survival kit” to help them adhere to rules surrounding social media and advertising once they leave the famous TV villa.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has coupled up with ITV to make sure the stars of the show are aware of how to be upfront and clear with their followers about paid-for content.
A stint as a participant on Love Island guarantees a huge boost in social media numbers; current popular contestants such as boxer Tommy Fury, model and ring girl Maura Higgins and influencer and model Molly-Mae Hague all have more than a million followers on Instagram.
A high follower count means contestants will be able command thousands of pounds for posts, with digital marketing firm Rise At Seven estimating that Molly-Mae, who has the highest following of 2.2 million, could earn more than £7,000 for a single social media picture.
This series of Love Island finishes on Monday, with the contestants then flying home from Majorca to take back control of their social media accounts, often run by friends or family during their time on the show.
The “cheat sheet” to declaring ads on social media includes advice for paid-for posts, gifts and discount codes, as well as information on how to display messages clearly.
While advertising on social media isn’t against the rules, all users are required by law to make sure such posts are clearly labelled, with the ASA and the Competition and Marketing Authority (CMA) recommending the “#ad” hashtag.
Anyone not being clear about paid-for content could face a potential ASA investigation.
ASA chief executive Guy Parker said: “Our checklist is a quick and effective way of helping Love Islanders ensure their social media posts stick to the rules and avoid misleading their followers.
“Our message is simple: make sure you’re upfront and clear when you’re being paid to post.”
On top of providing the checklist, the ASA will work with ITV as part of the channel’s duty of care commitments to contestants, which were enhanced before this year’s series, to make its advice and training resources available.
The ASA will also contact talent agencies representing contestants to make them fully aware of the rules.
Earlier this year, celebrities including Ellie Goulding, Rita Ora, Millie Mackintosh, Alexa Chung and Michelle Keegan agreed to change the way they label their social media posts following a crackdown by the CMA to prevent consumers from being misled by endorsements.
Such posts can have a powerful impact and boost sales for the companies promoted – with millions of fans exposed to updates about where the celebrities go on holiday, what they wear, and the products they use.