Aussie influencers have been fooling us with sneaky sponcon tricks for some time now so it’s great to see them get called out for it, aye?

Last year Ad Standards announced they’re cracking down on sponsored posts shared to Instagram without sufficient messaging to make it clear the influencer is being paid to fang the product.

Perth Now reported at the time that Ad Standards had introduced strict guidelines requiring that all paid ad posts include “clearly distinguishable” tags, such as the hashtag #ad or phrases like “paid partnership” or “advert.”

Despite the announcement a whole year ago, influencers have been busted breaking the rules many times since.

Here, we’re gonna go through a bunch of times influencers have been called out.

Anna Heinrich

The first-ever Bachelor Australia winner Anna Heinrich was also the first-ever influencer to be called out for not displaying the ad tag properly after Ad Standards’ 2021 crackdown.

The piccy in question was sponsored by fash label Runway and was shared to her large following on February 11 2021.

Ad Standards determined that her caption was “not sufficient” as there was no mention of it being an ad.

After the brand was informed about the issue, they got Heinrich to edit her post to include a paid ad tag.

Rozalia Russian

Just two weeks after Henrich’s offence, Rozalia Russian became the second on the list of Aussie influencers to get pinged for not specifying that her product pic was an #ad.

In one of the Melbourne-based influencer’s posts, she forgot to use the #ad hashtag, and ended up getting called out for it.

The post was in partnership with Tom Ford to help promote its Soleil Blanc perfume.

It was subsequently deleted. Naughty, naughty!

Carly McDonagh

Then there was mum blogger Carly McDonagh whose post about the heavily publicised ‘wave wand’ resulted in a complaint to Ad Standards from someone who contacted McDonagh about the post, only to allegedly be blocked on Instagram. Ouch!

The panel determined that Bondi Boost, who has been spruiking the infamous ‘wave wand’, did not provide an initial response and ruled that the post did not have a clear ad tag and was therefore in breach of the code.

The post now includes #ad. As it bloody well should!

Comments have also ~conveniently~ been turned off on the post.

Elias Black

Next up on the list of sneaky Aussie influencers is Love Island star turned Byron Baes hottie Elias Black who also copped a slap on the wrist while endorsing a clothing brand.

Black got in deep shit for several posts that were paid for by fashion label ORTC Clothing but were not properly labelled as such.

In one post, the caption even tagged the brand but did not have an #ad tag: “Neutral tones and classic styles AW21 by @ortcclothingco.”

In the other, post the brand is not mentioned or tagged, despite Black wearing their clothes and therefore promoting them.

After the advertiser confirmed they had a partnership with Black and the complaint was raised with the panel, they later added #ad to the caption.

Sophie Cachia

And most recently a tech brand got blasted for a post made by old mate Sophie Cachia and they pointed the finger at the influencer.

Cachia, who has an advertising deal with tech accessories brand Cygnett, failed to make it clear that she was being paid to fang their products.

The Instagram Story featured Cachia holding up a charging cable with the text: “Found my baby!!! @cygnett Nobody charges my phone like this cord here.

“Whenever I lose it, it’s devastating (aka Bobby steals it for his iPad) I will neverrrrrrr go back to any other cord. Not spon, just simply life changing when you need your phone constantly & charged SO fast.”

There was also a link to Cygnett’s website.

According to Daily Mail Australia, one of Cachia’s followers made a complaint to Ad Standards.

“Sophie is obviously getting paid to be an ongoing ambassador for this product/brand and should clearly display that it is a paid post,” the follower’s complaint read.

The watchdog determined that her post “did breach Section 2.7” of the AANA Code of Ethics, which requires advertisers to make it “clearly distinguishable” that a post is branded content.

Cygnett blamed the incident on Cachia, claiming the influencer uploaded the post without “prior approval” and insisted it is therefore not responsible.

In Cygnett’s response to Ad Standards, it said it “[have] an agreement with Sophie Cachia regarding paid brand endorsements on social media”, but that this post was shared “outside [Cachia’s] paid agreement” with the brand and was “not included in the content calendar”.

It insisted that it was not “requested or supported in any way by Cygnett.”

The brand added, “If an influencer decides to post without permission or knowledge of a brand, why is the brand held responsible?”

The Ad Standards panel ruled that “the post was not clearly distinguishable as advertising.”

Stop being sneaky, Aussie influencers!