Watchdog says online companies who didn’t disclose paid-for promotions by celebrities and bloggers were deceptive. The Guardian reported that the UK Office of Fair Trading “has begun a crackdown on Twitter users and bloggers using their online presence to endorse products and companies without clearly stating their relationship with the brand.”
The OFT has brought a case against a PR firm that was discovered to be paying bloggers to write effusively about its clients. The watchdog has launched an investigation into Handpicked Media, which operates a commercial blogging network — insisting that it must clearly state when promotional comments have been paid for.
Reality TV star Kim Kardashian, who has more than 5.6 million followers, can collect up to $10,000 for tweeting, Gullov-Singh added. “Her price keeps going up. The most effective ones can get six figures a year, and in some cases six figures a quarter.”
“A year ago, celebrities were wary about their reputation, about selling out, but when they saw how easy it was to earn up to $5,000 a tweet, they flocked on board,” said Gullov-Singh.
Actor Liz Hurley has also written in glowing terms about certain products, with her Twitter page including more than 10 references to cosmetic company Est