Facebook the company that owns Instagram recently banned ads for tobacco products but companies making e-cigarettes and other vaping products have been using popular celebrities and other people with large following also known as influencers to promote these products to their followers However, influencers on Instagram are now banned from promoting such products.
It isn’t uncommon for these influencers to promote products on their Instagram using hashtags or just actively updating their story feeds claiming they were given the product as a gift and are regular users.
Instagram said in a post:
Branded content that promotes goods such as vaping, tobacco products and weapons will not be allowed,
Our advertising policies have long prohibited the advertisement of these products, and we will begin enforcement on this in the coming weeks.
The British Advertising Standards Authority have banned promotion of tobacco products by companies and started an investigation into their Instagram posts. The reason for this is that these companies were using these influencers to promote their products and then sponsored their posts so that it would show the tag “paid partnership with” to people coming across it.
Instagram did make changes to it’s policies concerning this very matter that allowed these tobacco and e-cigarette companies from doing it in the first place.
This concern has risen because many kids are present on the platform following these celebrities and influencers and these kids even admire and try to follow or copy these influencers.
Mathew Myers, the president for Tobacco-Free kids says:
It is imperative that Facebook and Instagram not only swiftly enact these policy changes, but also see that they are strictly enforced,
Tobacco companies have spent decades targeting kids – social media companies must not be complicit in this strategy,