Bad news, fam! Zoe Sugg, a.k.a. Zoella, is facing prison threats along with several other influencers due to — wait for it — Instagram ads. Wait, what?

Unless you’re a social media star yourself, you might not be aware that there are laws in place that require influencers to label if something they post is a paid advertisement. This law was put in place so that their followers don’t confuse a paid ad campaign for a genuine product recommendation and waste their money. Unfortunately, some of your favorite influencers dropped the ball on that requirement a few times, and now the British Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued a warning to 16 well-known personalities, Zoe included.

Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive of the CMA, told BBC News, “Influencers can have a huge impact on what their fans decide to buy. People could, quite rightly, feel misled if what they thought was a recommendation from someone they admired turns out to be a marketing ploy. You should be able to tell as soon as you look at a post if there is some form of payment or reward involved, so you can decide whether something is really worth spending your hard-earned money on.”

For this reason and this reason alone, influencers are legally required to tag sponsored content with #spon or #ad, but alas, many have failed to do so.

We know what you’re thinking: Who exactly was it that violated this rule and were threatened with jail time? Well, along with Zoe are some other very popular internet personalities, including Jim ChapmanMegan McKennaChloe Sims and several others. Singers Rita Ora and Ellie Goulding also made the list, as well as models Alexa Chung and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Yikes!

According to BBC News, 16 people received the prison warning, and “if they fail to comply with the agreement reached with the CMA, they could be taken to court and face heavy fines or prison sentences of up to two years.” OMG.


Love J-14? Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for fun, exclusive videos with your favorite stars.