Celebrities to keep social media posts ‘clean’, says UK watchdog

LONDON: Ellie Goulding, Rita Ora and other celebrities have agreed to spell out in social media posts if they are being paid to promote a brand, Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority said on Wednesday.

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The agency said it has secured formal commitments from 16 celebrities, who also include models Alexa Chung and Rosie-Huntington-Whiteley, to change how they label social media posts to their millions of followers.

Brands pay thousands of dollars for a single social media post. But European Union consumer protection law requires social media users to disclose whether they have received gifts or cash to endorse a brand, to avoid giving the impression the post represents their personal view, the CMA said.

“People could, quite rightly, feel misled if what they thought was a recommendation from someone they admired turns out to be a marketing ploy,” CMA Chief Executive Andrea Coscelli said in a statement.

Warning letters have also been sent to a number of other celebrities — whom the CMA did not name — urging them to review their practices where some concerns have been identified, the watchdog added.

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