Ever since celebrities have been on twitter, advertisers have wanted them to shill their products. Sellouts like Kim Kardashian can make ten thousand dollars a tweet if they play their cards right. Companies signing up celebrities for talking about products on Twitter have sprung up like mushrooms all over the world, and have now been warned by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in the UK to be clear about their methods.
OFT says it should be clear to people that those pushing products or services are getting paid in cash or with gifts. The OFT describes the 140 chars without full disclosure as ''deceptive'' advertising.
"Online advertising and marketing practices that do not disclose they include paid for promotions are deceptive under trading laws."
states the OFT.
This likely won't have Kim Kardashian stopping her tweeting, only more advertsing money can make her do that, but it looks like we're heading toward another era of wild debates about Buzz marketing and WOM, because as soon as advertising finds new 'media', regulation soon follows. Remember those days?
Flashback to 2005.
The Hidden (in Plain Sight) Persuaders debate
Word of mouth marketing - do we need regulation?
Don't make WOM become SPAM
Is Buzz Illegal?
You can't swing a dead fad without hitting a WOM/Viral/Buzz Book.