OFT slapdown on celebrity Twitter endorsements

OFT slapdown on celebrity Twitter endorsements

The UK’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has announced that it will be investigate the growing practice of celebrities pocketing cash and goods in return for endorsing products on Twitter.

Celeb froth

The OFT said that online advertising and marketing that did not disclose paid-for promotions were “deceptive” under fair trading rules, adding that it included, “comments about services and products on blogs and microblogs such as Twitter.”

The consumer watchdog has now brought a case against a PR firm called Handpicked Media that was found to be sneakily paying bloggers to write rave reviews about its clients’ products.

The crackdown comes as more and more celebs are looking to pocket some easy dosh by willingly endorsing products and companies, and according to the Guardian, the pay isn’t bad at all:

Celebrity twitter endorsements are already big business in the US, where artists such as Snoop Dogg can earn a reported $3,000 (£1,900) for sending a tweet endorsing a product. But the US Federal Trade Commission insists that such endorsements must contain the words “ad” or “spon” to show the reference has been paid for. Such a requirement does not currently exist in the UK.

Reality TV star Kim Kardashian, who has more than 5.6 million followers, can collect up to $10,000 for tweeting, Gullov-Singh added. “Her price keeps going up. The most effective ones can get six figures a year, and in some cases six figures a quarter.”

Deceptive Tweeting

OFT say that consumers are being deceived by frothing celeb endorsements that make no mention of the cash being trousered and are looking to adopt US-style measures where the Federal Trade Commission has ensured that promotional tweets contain the words “ad” or “spon.”

Mind you, quite why anyone would want to buy a product just because some utterly pointless celebrity like Daisy Lowe has made some excited squeaks about it on  Twitter is beyond us, but it clearly must do something for the brand.

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