Advertising watchdog to investigate Snickers Twitter campaign

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has launched an investigation into Snickers' innovative Twitter campaign following confusion surrounding the commercial nature of the activity.

Advertising watchdog to investigate Snickers Twitter campaign
Advertising watchdog to investigate Snickers Twitter campaign

The ASA received two complaints about tweets from glamour model Katie Price and footballer Rio Ferdinand, which formed part of promotional activity for Snickers owner Mars this week.

A spokesperson for the advertising watchdog confirmed the campaign by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO is being investigated against two possible breaches of the Advertising Code: whether it should have been stated in the ‘teaser’ tweets that they were marketing communications; and whether the hashtag "#spon" in the final ‘reveal’ tweet made it clear enough that that tweet was a marketing communication.

— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) January 24, 2012

Both complaints were said to have come from members of the public

Last weekend, Price tweeted from her @MissKatiePrice account, which has around 1.5 million followers, about the Eurozone debt problems and China's GDP rating, before revealing that she hadn't been herself because she was too hungry.

She tweeted: "Great news about China's latest GDP figures!!", "Chinese leaders now likely to loosen monetary policy to stimulate growth. Yay!!", "OMG!! Eurozone debt problems can only be properly solved by true fiscal union!!! #comonguys", and "Large scale quantitative easing in 2012 could distort liquidity of govt. bond market. #justsayin".

Price then tweeted the Snickers strapline, "You're not you when you're hungry @snickersUK #hungry #spon" and a picture of her holding a Snickers bar.

Boxer Amir Khan (@AmirKingKhan), cricketer Sir Ian Botham (@BeefyBotham) and singer Cher Lloyd (@CherlyLloyd) have also been involved in the campaign.

The ASA expects to reach a decision within "a few weeks".

Follow Arif Durrani on Twitter: @DurraniMix

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