Can You Tell When a Celeb’s Tweet is #Endorsed?

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When actress Elizabeth Hurley tweets that she loves a specific Estee Lauder product, she could be getting paid the big bucks to say so. Since the actress has been the face of the brand for over 15 years, it seems like quite the coincidence that every once and awhile she gives Estee Lauder shout out.

Although the FTC ruled late last year that endorsed tweets in the U.S. must be clearly labeled, no such mandate exists in Hurley’s native England. Or at least, not yet. The UK’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has begun cracking down on deceptive endorsed tweets, starting with its attack on PR company Handpicked Media. The OFT said in a statement that “online advertising and marketing practices that do not disclose they include paid for promotions are deceptive under trading laws.”

This crackdown would put tweets like Hurley’s in jeopardy of punishment, since the actress neither mentions the companies she endorses on her twitter page nor adds the hashtag #ad to her endorsed tweets.

But full disclosure of endorsed tweets doesn’t mean the end to twitter advertising. Stateside celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Snoop Dogg still rake in thousands (up to $10,000 and $3,000 respectively) to tweet about a product, even with the #ad hashtag.

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