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Rio Ferdinand's Snickers tweets 'acceptable' rules ad watchdog

London, Thu, 08 Mar 2012 ANI

London, Mar.8 (ANI): Britain's advertising watchdog has ruled that Rio Ferdinand and Katie Price's tweets endorsing the chocolate bar, Snickers, at the start of the year, were 'acceptable'.

 

In the first ruling of its kind, the Advertising Standard Authority's investigation into the celebrity tweets, has deemed that the messages were written in such a way which meant that they could be clearly understood to be adverts, The Telegraph reports.

 

The ASA launched the investigation in January 2012, after receiving complaints about tweets Ferdinand, Price, cricketer Ian Botham and X Factor finalist Cher Lloyd posted promoting the chocolate bar.

 

They all received payment from Mars, the chocolate bar parent company to do so.

 

In the advertising watchdog's first Twitter adjudication, it investigated whether the celebrities' first 'teaser' tweets should have indicated that they were part of an advert and whether the hashtag #spon, which each famous person used in the final 'reveal tweet' alongside a photo of themselves holding the chocolate, made it clear enough that the tweet was an advert.

 

The ASA judgement said: "We noted the first four tweets in each series served as 'teasers', which, due to their nature, were likely to generate additional interest in the celebrities' postings. We also noted those tweets did not make any reference to Snickers or to Mars and were posted in relatively quick succession. In addition, we noted that the fifth 'reveal' tweets showed the celebrities with the product and included the text "You're not you when you're hungry @snickersUk #hungry #spon ...".We considered the combination of those elements was sufficient to make clear the tweets were advertising and that consumers would then understand each series of tweets was a marketing communication. In that particular context, and given the relevance of the first four tweets to the "You're not you when you're hungry ..." strap line in the 'reveal' tweets, we considered it was acceptable that the first four tweets were not individually labelled as being part of the overall marketing communications. We therefore concluded that the ads did not breach the [advertising] Code," the ASA said in a statement.

 

A spokesman for the ASA described the decision as a "landmark one" and said that it would probably open the door to more brands using celebrities as mouthpieces on Twitter. (ANI)

 


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