25 August 2013
CHOICE believes celebrities should inform consumers when they are being paid to promote a product or service on social media.
“Tweeting and posting ‘selfies’ is big business and rightly or wrongly consumers put a lot of trust in what celebrities have to say,” says Tom Godfrey, Head of Media at CHOICE.
“From shoes to sports cars, celebrity endorsements choke social media newsfeeds and create an impression that a product is actually being used by a famous face.”
“Celebrities should disclose any financial reward they receive to promote products and services making the multi-million dollar paid post industry far more transparent.”
“Consumers shouldn’t be fooled into the thinking that because celebrities plug products on social media that they personally use these products and truthfully endorse them.”
“Whether you are following Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Hawkings or Lara Bingle, you should be informed if they are being paid to plug products.”
“From shonky chefs pushing pasta sauce to hot chicks pedaling hot rods, social media is awash with dodgy advertorial style posts.”
“In the United States and the United Kingdom brands that fail to declare sponsored tweets can be investigated by relevant authorities. There is currently no law in Australia which enforces people to disclose if they have received payment or gifts.”
“With no governance in Australia, celebrities are free to take money or gifts in exchange for endorsement at their discretion. The public has no way of knowing what a celebrity is paid to endorse.”
Last year an email from a publicist to celebrity clients on behalf of South Australia Tourism offered $750 for one tweet about Kangaroo Island. The catch was it had to be an ‘organic mention’. Suspicion arose when Celebrity Chef Matt Moran, Shannon Noll and Sophie Falkiner all began tweeting about Kangaroo Island within a few days of each other.