Celebs and their Tw-omotion!

Today, I came across a very interesting article in The Mail on Sunday regarding celebrities and the legality promoting consumer products via the oh so trendy Twitter. Catching my eye immediately, I had to read through this and see whether the issue had developed since when I read about it a year ago. But unfortunately, it seems as though the Office of Fair Trading is still warning rather than enforcing.

If you didn’t see the article, the tweets highlighted included:

“Grey Goose in the house” (Lily Allen)

“I’m in London until Thursday, then it’s back to New York. Chilling in the May Fair” (Peaches Geldof)

“Can’t wait for my new range rover!!” (Henri Holland)

Courtesy of The Mail on Sunday (09.01.11)

What concerned me whilst reading the article is the assumption that OFT make when they begin to worry about this type of issue. Do we really trust a celebrity who tweets ‘I love this X, Y or Z’? And if we do, do we assume that they have said this with no financial gain? Does OFT really think we are that naïve? Are we that naïve?

As with all topics/issues like this, I like to ask my faithful followers (yes, I do have a God complex) and I got some great responses from Sarah Hayward and Bumbling Along – in fact it started a whole mini debate about the subject, and threw out some ideas that I had not even considered.

As a young professional who works in media (specifically PR) I like to think that I am pretty au fait when it comes to promotions and celebrity endorsement – so obviously, to me this issue seems ridiculous, as I would never fully trust Lily Allen telling me she loves Grey Goose. But, what about those who don’t work in media? And is age a factor in how likely you are to be influenced?

So, whilst writing this blog, I did a bit of a 360 and started to think that maybe there should be laws put in place to ensure promotional transparency. If we are wanting the online world to be respected/trusted as much as the offline, then maybe this is the move we need.

“@mumrablog but my sis is scared of the Internet as she’s scared of being conned. Laws, enforced, might give her confidence @aaronhuckett”

Courtesy of Bumbling Tweets

These laws would also save celebs from criticism, as I am sure that even the A-listers love a good Starbucks and fancy tweeting about it with no other agenda than to let the world know what they have just had for lunch (food tweets are, after all, my favourite).

But actually, is it hurting anyone? What a conundrum. This article seems to have raised more questions than anything else!

I would really love to hear your views on this, as many of my readers are bloggers who receive consumer products to review, which can be seen as a huge benefit of blogging – so do you feel that you have to give positive feedback?

And finally, massive thanks to Sarah and Bumbling Along, follow them here:

http://twitter.com/mumrablog

http://twitter.com/bumblingtweets

 

 

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~ by aaronhuckett on January 10, 2011.

3 Responses to “Celebs and their Tw-omotion!”

  1. Hi Aaron,

    I haven’t read the article printed in the Mail on Sunday, but I think your right in that this article has certainly posed a lot more questions than it has answered.
    It all comes down to a fine line in my opinion- how do you define celebrity? The term itself seems to be tossed about freely at the moment- who would hold such power to suggest an embargo is placed on one personality over another? A debate in itself.
    Although I don´t work within the media (yet) I have studied it for a number of years at university- and had never considered the effect this sort of celebrity product endorsement holds on people with no connections to the media industry, an interesting point well raised!
    Only time will tell what stance will come to be accepted here, but I certainly hope for one, that things don´t change- these tweets on the most part are purely off the cuff thoughts providing entertainment and a link to celebrity culture to the masses.

  2. I don’t personally see this as a problem in need of legislation. If a celebrity recommends a product just because they like it, fine. All of us do that all the time, and they’re just people after all. If they were paid to say they like it, well that’s still fine as far as I’m concerned; I still always make up my own mind about whether I want to buy something or whether it’s any good or not.

    I can’t see any particular need for them to make clear it’s a promotional tweet, it would just make it clumsy and annoying. If a person is so easily influenced that they’ll just run out and buy something because a celebrity says it’s good then I think they’ve got bigger issues than the OFT can solve.

  3. I blog, while I do not feel I “have to” give positive feedback, I am by nature pretty positive and if a product is not uo to expectation, I prefer to give some form of constructive comments.
    I do not always suspect that celebs are brand name dropping without incentive, but then I mention brands all the time as a consumer not just a blogger.I am sure celebs do too.

    You have me thinking as I saw Amanda Holden tweet that she was on her way home for a bath with Lush products, as she had not added the @Lush, I did not think anything of it, however I may be that naive. It does not make me lean towards buying Lush.I also saw Lily Allen’s tweet, again I did not feel influenced to buy Grey Goose by the way.

    I do not believe that Twitter is a place for OFT to start making regulations. they would have to prove that it was promotion surely and not just a tweet in conversation.

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