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UK trade watchdog warns Snickers over celeb 'tweet-vertising'

The Office of Fair Trading says online ads, where it’s not clear that a tweet is part of a paid-for promition, are “deceptive”.
Jan 25th 2012, 4:08 PM 4,782 20

THE SNICKERS ADVERTISING campaign featuring celebrities like model Katie Price, singer Cher Lloyd and footballer Rio Ferdinand may be breaking the law, according to Britain’s trading watchdog.

The Office of Fair Trading said online advertising and marketing “that do not disclose they include paid-for promotions are deceptive under fair trading laws.”

Sky News quoted an OFT spokesperson as saying UK law demanded that it be clear “if endorsements in blogs, posts and microblogs like Twitter have been made in return for payment or payment in kind.”

Britain’s Advertising Standards Agency said it could not investigate complaints about the Snickers campaign until one was received, however.

The campaign first came to prominence when model Price – better known as Jordan – tweeted a string of comments about the global sovereign debt crisis, focussing particularly on Chinese monetary policy.

Her comments ended with the note, ‘You’re not you when you’re hungry’ – enclosing a picture of herself holding a Snickers. The phrase has previously been used by Snickers on TV ads in the US:

Similar tweets have since been posted by Rio Ferdinand (“Can’t wait 2 get home from training and finish that cardigan”, after professing his love for knitting) and former cricketer Ian Botham, who said he was learning to play the cello.

Boxer Amir Khan tweeted about his latest travails in stamp collecting, while X Factor singer Cher Lloyd spoke of her love for Russian literature (“Chekov really captures the human condition!! Yay!!!”).

Read: Katie Price urges closer EU fiscal union but warns against quantitative easing

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Gavan Reilly

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