London, Jan 26 (ANI): Footballer Rio Ferdinand has been slammed for promoting Snickers chocolate bar on Twitter.
Ferdinand started posting odd tweets about knitting and 'needing more wool' much to the bemusement of his fans.
The series of strange messages ended with a tweet and picture of the footballer posing with a Snickers bar.
However, the promotion ignores the Office of Fair Trading's advice about celebrities making it clear when they are promoting or endorsing a product.
The OFT has warned companies that "deceptive advertising" has to stop.
"Online advertising and marketing practices that do not disclose they include paid for promotions are deceptive under trading laws," the Telegraph quoted an OFT spokesman as saying.
The spokesman refused to comment on Snickers's specific advertising campaign. However, they referred back to a case in 2010 where the OFT took enforcement action against a PR agency for paying bloggers to write and tweet about products.
"The internet plays a key role in how people purchase products and services and the importance of online advertising continues to grow," said Heather Clayton, Senior Director of OFT's Consumer Group.
"The integrity of information published online is crucial so that people can make informed decisions on how to spend their money. We expect online advertising and marketing campaigns to be transparent so consumers can clearly tell when blogs, posts and microblogs have been published in return for payment or payment in kind.
"We expect this to include promotions for products and services as well as editorial content," added Clayton.
Several of Ferdinand's followers complained after his burst of tweets.
One user tweeted: "Do you really need the money that badly?" and another added: "I'm not on here to be advertised at".
A similar pattern of strange tweets, culminating with a message and photograph promoting the chocolate bar also appeared in the Twitter feeds of cricketer Ian Botham, X Factor finalist Cher Lloyd and reality TV star Katie Price over the last few days.
A Snickers spokesman confirmed that the celebrities were being paid for posting the Twitter 'adverts'.
The body will only look into the SnickersTwitter adveritisng campaign if it receives a complaint from a member of the public. (ANI)
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