Toni and Guy rapped over Towie Tweets
Filed under: Shopping & Deals
So why was The Advertising Standards Authority concerned, and can you trust recommendations from celebrities on Twitter?
The caseThe tweet received a complaint and the ASA investigated. Toni and Guy explained that Collins had visited the salon for an appointment and that they had decided to waive the cost of their services. They said she had been pleased with the service provided and it was therefore suggested that she tweet about it.
They said Gemma had asked whether she should mention a discount and it was agreed that a discount should be offered. They said the tweets had been compiled by Gemma on the spur of the moment and that they were not part of any formal advertising campaign.
They believed that, while the tweets did not include the terms "marketing", "sponsored" or "advertisement", the mention of a 10% discount made it clear that the tweets were marketing communications.
The rulesHowever, the ASA were concerned it breached its code, which says that adverts must be identifiable as such. It said: "The average Twitter user would follow a number of people on the site and they would receive a number of tweets throughout the day, which they might scroll through quickly....
"The tweets appeared to have been written on a spontaneous visit to the salon and users could have interpreted them as referring to a pre-existing 10% off sales promotion, which Gemma Collins had herself taken advantage of on her visit. The tweets did encourage users to quote "#gemma" but, in the context of the whole tweets, users could have overlooked the significance of that or not understood that it related directly to Miss Collins."
The salon has been warned that adverts much clearly state that they are marketing communications, and has been forbidden from tweeting similar messages.
Not the firstHowever, it is not the first company to have fallen foul of rules on tweets. The most high profile example, was eventually adjudged to be within the code, when a number of celebrities tweeted unexpected things - such as Rio Ferdinand tweeting about knitting, followed by a tweet saying 'You're not you when you're hungry@snickersUk#hungry#spon' with a picture of them holding a Snickers. The ASA said the hashtag on the final tweet brought it within the rules.
Not so for Nike, which was stopped from using celebrities to tweet in its 'make it count' campaign, because tweets like Wayne Rooney's "My resolution - to start the year as a champion, and finish it as a champion...#makeitcount gonike.me/makeitcount" didn't feature a hashtag such as #SPON or #AD.
Tweeting is relatively new, and the ASA has only just taken over the monitoring of this sort of media. For the time being, therefore, there may be many more falling foul of the code until the rules are widely understood.
In time we will be able to assume that celebrities really are a huge fan of a brand unless the advertising hashtags are used. In the meantime, it may be worth taking these things with a pinch of salt.
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