Geordie Shore star Instagram posts banned

Marnie Simpson

An Instagram post by Ms Simpson promoting the contact lenses

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

A number of Instagram posts by a Geordie Shore star have been banned for encouraging the "unsafe" buying of coloured contact lenses.

Marnie Simpson promoted her range of lenses for retailer iSpyEyes in several posts in September and October last year, mentioning blue and Halloween styles.

But the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld a complaint that the one-size-fits-all lenses could only be sold under the supervision of a registered optometrist, optician or medical practitioner.

It said the customers who saw the ads would assume that the cosmetic lenses could be legally sold by the advertiser in the UK, and that were were no safety concerns associated with buying the product directly from the retailer.

The advertising watchdog consulted the General Optical Council (GOC), which confirmed that the sale of such lenses were illegal if they were not sold by or under the supervision of registered specialists.

The reality star's latest post promoting the lenses

The ASA also noted that the Eyecare Trust charity advised that poorly fitting lenses, extended wear and poor hygiene habits could all lead to eye infections, corneal ulcers, abrasions and even loss of vision, while the NHS website stated that people should not "wear any contact lenses, including novelty lenses, that haven't been properly fitted to your eyes".

However, Ms Simpson's response, provided by her solicitors, referred to the FAQ section of the iSpyEyes website that stated "you should visit your optician for a lens fitting prior to purchase as all our lenses are one size".

They added that they did not consider that Ms Simpson was encouraging an unsafe practice.

In a statement, the ASA said: "We had not seen any evidence that the lenses were being sold by, or under the personal supervision of, a registered optometrist, registered dispensing optician or registered medical practitioner.

"It was therefore illegal for them to be sold from the website iSpyEyes.com to consumers in the UK."

Responding to the ruling, a spokesperson for Ms Simpson said: "Marnie takes the concerns raised seriously and will address the ASA's ruling in the proper way."

The last post by Ms Simpson promoting the lenses was uploaded on April 29 this year.

A spokesman for the ASA told talkRADIO that their "main requirement" was that the ads do not appear again from today.

He continued: "Our understanding is that Marnie's representatives have confirmed that they are working to withdraw/amend historical posts that fall four of our rules."

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