The ASA rules on Mars' celebrity Twitter campaign
While the ASA's decision in this case is positive news for advertisers and agencies, the usual rules continue to apply - every marketing communication should be readily identifiable as such. That said, it should be possible to use 'teasers', which are not individually labelled as marketing communications, where they are closely linked to a clear, overarching marketing message.
Advertisers would be well advised to remain cautious following the adjudication. The ASA's Chief Executive, Guy Parker, has subsequently clarified that the use of '#spon' alone did not save Mars. In addition, of course, there is no comfort here for those advertisers and PR companies providing free products to celebrities in the hope of a positive Twitter write-up, without making any effort to require those celebrities to disclose the incentive. Such endorsements may well still fall foul of the rules.
This action may contain information of general interest about current legal issues, but does not give legal advice.