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Alcohol brands are being warned that they must be ready to face potential court action for conveying irresponsible messages to consumers through advertising, including the inadvertent targeting of underage drinkers.

The warnings were made at a mental health and alcohol event where attendees raised fears of the growing embrace of influencer marketing, in which bloggers and celebrities are paid to promote brands on social media.

Amy Powell, client relationships manager at marketing consultancy PromoVeritas said: “There has been such a huge influx of influencer marketing being a strategy for brands, from bloggers right up to people like Rita Ora.

 

 

 

 

 

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Swipe up in story to read my @forbes exclusive!! ???? I’m sooooo excited I’ve been working on this, one of my many new babies for nearly a year now!! I’ve had the privilege of collaborating with amazing brands and each time I learn something new about the business side of the industry. With this partnership I wanted push myself to take on a new role. Being Chief Creative Partner and shareholder with @prosperotequila has allowed me to invest my time and energy in a my new venture, which at its core highlights strong independent women. Working with Stella and visiting the distillery was an amazing experience and affirmed my desire to take on this position within the company. I can’t wait to toast this new partnership with my family, friends, and fans and finally drink my own draaaaank! Thank you @prosperotequila ?? #VivaPróspero #VivaconRita

A post shared by RITA ORA (@ritaora) on Apr 18, 2019 at 6:04am PDT

“The thing that alarms me,” Powell said, “is [Rita Ora] has an audience of 14+, and her image has a bottle of Tequila right there on her Instagram. Like I said to brands four years ago, GDPR is coming, and regulators are ready and prepared to go to court in cases like this.”

The Advertising Standards Authority has already banned campaigns for the likes of Captain Morgan Rum and The Macallan for linking drink to individual happiness, confidence and success, approaches which fall foul of the watchdog’s strict guidelines.