On 25 October 2020, The Mail on Sunday newspaper’s Anna Mikhailova referred to the outcome of the inquiry by the House of Lords Commissioner for Standards into Ben Rich, sole staffer to former health secretary Lord Lansley at the House of Lords (screen shot in Figure 1).
It was my complaint to the Commissioner that prompted her to open the inquiry (see 23 October 2020 post).
Olympic hockey gold medallist and BBC sport presenter Sam Quek is plugging another gambling firm on Twitter, without disclosure of interest.
On 15 October 2020, Ms Quek tweeted about her latest appearance on “The Punt”, a weekly social video series from bookie 888sport about American football (screen shot in Figure 1). 888sport is “the NFL’s official sports betting partner in the UK & Ireland”. The sports star included a tweet from the gambling company within her own.
Yes, the 888sport tweet is obviously identifiable as a marketing communication from the gambling firm.
Nevertheless Ms Quek’s tweet of 15 October 2020 mainly contains her own editorial content, where she says she “enjoyed filming this with the guys”. The sports star then tells her followers to “check out the 6 min chat here”, providing a link to the 888sport video on YouTube. Yet it’s unclear from Ms Quek’s tweet that the gambling firm published the YouTube video.
Ms Quek fails to label her tweet as an ad: she doesn’t use the label “#ad”, for example.
On 12 May 2020, I revealed Ms Quek was plugging gambling company The Pools (The Football Pools Limited) on Twitter, without disclosure of interest – even after my two upheld complaints to advertising regulator the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). Both The Times and Daily Mail newspapers reported my exposé (see 14 May 2020 and 15 May 2020 posts).
Broadcaster Eamonn Holmes plugged alcohol company Heineken on social media, without disclosure of interest.
Mr Holmes was paid to promote Heineken at the time of his posts.
On 18 November 2019, the alcohol company announced on its website launch of its weekly “A Pint with Eamonn and the Gaffers” podcast (screen shot in Figure 1). Each episode the broadcaster interviews a well-known football manager in a different Heineken pub, where the pair drink the beer. The alcohol firm’s official YouTube channel hosts many videos derived from the beery interviews (screen shot in Figure 2).
It’s disappointing the Heineken UK YouTube channel isn’t age-restricted (at date of publication). In other words, under-18s can access the content it publishes on the video-sharing platform. Heineken could easily age-restrict its content, of course. It chooses not to.
Yet alcohol is supposed to be marketed in the UK only to those aged 18 and over.
The broadcaster has 1m Twitter followers (@EamonnHolmes).
There, in November and December 2019, Mr Holmes promoted the podcast, without disclosure of interest. The tweets are unclear and misleading: none is clearly identifiable as an ad. Mr Holmes omitted to use the hashtag #ad.
Here I show six tweets (screen shots in Figure 3-8). For the avoidance of doubt, this is a selection of Mr Holmes’ problematic Heineken tweets, not all of them.
All the tweets include a photo or video prominently showing Heineken – both the brand logo and beer.
His tweets, too, are accessible to under-18s (at date of publication).
“A Pint with Eamonn and the Gaffers” is produced by podcast production company 11-29 Media Limited (screen shot in Figure 9). Mr Holmes is a shareholder in the firm, according to Companies House records.
The broadcaster now calls his podcast simply “Eamonn and the Gaffers”, as his Twitter biography attests (screen shot in Figure 10).
As soon as I saw the headline in Val Savage’s latest column in the Daily Mirror newspaper today (10 October 2020), I knew what she’d say – or rather plug.
The last item in her column is entitled “My essential supplies dry up” (screen shot in Figure 1). There the mum of football pundit and fellow Mirror columnist Robbie Savage plugs Tena Ladies, a range of women’s incontinence products. Tena is the manufacturer.
This is only the latest instance of Val promoting the brand in her Mirror column (see 29 August 2020 post). Some might call it incontinent plugging of Tena Ladies.
A recent donation from Momentum’s service company to former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn MP raises questions about the accuracy of the firm’s accounts.
Styling itself as “a people-powered, vibrant movement”, campaign group Momentum “aims to transform the Labour Party, our communities and Britain in the interests of the many, not the few”. Momentum, an unincorporated association of individual members, uses two incorporated companies to organise its activities. One of these is service company Momentum Campaign (Services) Ltd, a private company limited by guarantee.
The register of MPs’ financial interests shows Mr Corbyn received and accepted a £50k donation from Momentum Campaign (Services) Ltd on 24 September 2020. There it says: “This was previously an unsecured loan, received and accepted on 12 July 2016. It was converted to a donation on 24 September 2020.”
Meanwhile, I refer to the accounts for Momentum Campaign (Services) Ltd made up to 31 December 2017. These are for the period 1 July 2016 to 31 December 2017. Therefore, these accounts should show the £50k loan to Mr Corbyn.
But they don’t. Debtors are £7.5k.
Further, the latest accounts are made up to 31 December 2018. There debtors are £24k.
Sam Tarry, the Labour MP for Ilford South, is a director of Momentum Campaign (Services) Ltd, having been appointed on 10 December 2015.
I asked Mr Tarry in emails to explain why both sets of accounts fail to show the £50k loan to Mr Corbyn. The Ilford South MP didn’t respond within a reasonable time.