Lifting the lid on ‘sponsored posts’

When your child is exposed to advertisements, whether they be form TV, radio, film or print media, they are viewing content that has been regulated by government and industry standards to ensure the advertisements are not misleading, deceptive or inappropriate for younger audiences. Unfortunately there are no such regulations for ‘sponsored posts’ that appear on Instagram, and tis can be very deceptive to young and impressionable Instagram users.


Sponsored posts are an Instagram equivalent to ‘product placement.’ Brands search Instagram for users who have a substantial amount of followers/likes/comments, and then arrange to pay the user to post an Instagram photo featuring their product. The more followers an Instagram user has, the more money they stand to make from sponsored posts.


Sponsored posts are a form of paid advertising, however, they are not regulated or monitored, in most cases sponsored content is not even declared, therefore you or your child are viewing paid advertising without even knowing.

There is a rise of young ‘Insta-celebs,’ who are building successful and popular brands for themselves on their personal Instagram page. These accounts are typically run by thin, attractive, tanned girls who post pictures of themselves at idyllic locations, eating healthy food, posing in activewear and modelling shots. Whilst there is much to be said about the psychological impact viewing these highly curated, edited and picture perfect accounts has on your child’s sense of wellbeing and self esteem, the focus here is on how these women (and sometimes men) make a substantial profit from deceptively promoting products to young girls who want to be just like them.

With some media experts claiming brands are forking out over ONE BILLION dollars a year for sponsored posts, it’s time to have a think about who is deceptively advertising to your child on Instagram! Here are some examples of sponsored posts made on popular Instagram pages:

Click the link in my bio to see my Autumn Essentials 🍂

A post shared by Zoe Sugg (@zoella) on


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