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choc Tweet beats heat as ASA deems new practice A-OK

7 March 2012

A decision by the Advertising Standards Authority is set to open the floodgates for advertisers to use celebrity Twitter accounts as a medium.

Mars’ use of celebrity Tweets to plug the candy bar ‘Snickers’ to the public caused quite a stir. Mars paid celebrities to Tweet several teasers to develop an intriguing narrative, the culmination of which was a picture of the relevant celebrity with a Snickers bar.

The method will stimulate debate amongst advertisers. Although the Snickers Tweets were legal because they used Hashtags to make it clear that they were adverts, were they effective? Many people apparently resented being ambushed by a brand in this way.

Whether you approve or not, it is clear that social media is creating new opportunities for advertisers and new challenges for regulators.

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