Monday, 17 January 2011

The Tweets They Are A Changing

Christmas may have passed but bells across the social media sector are still ringing following the recent ruling by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) which saw Handpicked Media publicly reprimanded for not clearly stating that published online content that endorsed certain products and brands had been paid for. The failure to disclose this was found, by the OFT, to be deceptive, misleading to the average consumer and in breach of UK fair trading laws.

So what does this mean for the fashion industry, celebrity affiliation with designers and online promotion of fashion labels? Will this see the end of the swag bag or prevent celebrities gushing about the latest must have fashion fad in tweets or blogs?

In short – no. Rather it is all about transparency. Any online blogs, tweets or editorials by the glitterati or the average Joanna, that promote products in exchange for payment or payment in kind must openly disclose these incentives so as not to mislead the public. You can read the Q&As issued by the OFT here.

So you think the latest Jonathan Saunders' Topshop collection is a must have? Well if you post this for any reason other than you are a lover of this Scottish designer - then it needs to be stated. Got a free dress out of it? Then say so. Now how to fit this all into 140 characters – that will be the test for many.