KSI becomes the latest influencer to break advertising rules | British news
An Instagram post from KSI promoting JD Sports is banned.
The YouTuber, who has more than 12 million followers on Instagram, posted a video to music of himself and others at a bowling alley in November.
The video featured close-up shots of athletic shoes and a shot of KSI – whose real name is Olajide “JJ” Olatunji – drawing attention to his shoes.
Others in the ad wore the brand’s sportswear.
The video then ended with a shot of the JD Sports logo below the caption: “King of the Game.”
The post was also titled “Visit the @jdofficial YouTube channel to watch the full movie #kingofthegame”, and tagged “jdofficial” and “@adidasoriginals”.
JD Sports has said viewers would have known it was an ad and should not have been labeled as such.
KSI was contracted to run ads on behalf of the retailer and the ad was created with his approval.
The influencer told the Advertising Standards Authority that he believed the references to JD Sports in the ad made it clear to consumers that the video was an excerpt from a TV ad that featured him.
But after receiving a complaint, KSI included #ad in the post’s caption to “reduce any risk of misleading consumers.”
The ASA said it welcomed KSI’s “assurances” that the post had been changed, but said it had still not been “made clear” at the time the post was originally seen.
It added: “We welcomed Mr Olatunji’s assurance that the feature had been changed to include #ad.
However, at the time the ad was originally seen, the commercial intent behind the post was not clear in advance and the ad was not clearly identifiable as such.
“That’s why we concluded it was in violation of the Code.”
The ASA also advised both JD Sports and KSI to ensure that their future advertisements were “clearly identifiable”.
“We have told JD Sports and KSI to ensure that their advertisements are clearly identifiable as marketing communications going forward and to make their commercial intent clear up front, for example by including a clear and prominent identifier such as #ad,” it added.
The 29-year-old is also known as a boxer, rapper and founder of Prime energy drinks.
Read more from Sky News:
KSI apologizes for racist comments in Sidemen YouTube video
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Earlier this year, the internet star apologized to viewers for using racial slurs in an online video.
The clip sparked outrage on social media and was later removed from the Sidemen channel, a series of YouTube pages owned by various British internet personalities.
KSI addressed the situation following the backlash at the time, tweeting, “I want to apologize for making racial slurs in a recent Sidemen video.
“There’s no excuse whatever the circumstances, I shouldn’t have said it and I’m sorry.
“I’ve always told my audience not to worship or put me on a pedestal just because I’m human.
“I’m not perfect, I’m going to mess up life, and lately I’ve messed up a lot. So I’ve decided I’m going to take a break from social media for a while.”