March 8th, 2012

In First U.K. Twitter Ruling, Mars' Use of Celebrity Tweets Is OK

By Emma Hall
Advertising Age

Mars has escaped censorship by the U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority, despite complaints from consumers about a series of unlabeled promotional tweets for its Snickers bar.

A campaign for Snickers featured a series of four very out-of-character tweets from celebrities, none of which mentioned Snickers. The unexpected tweets included glamour model Katie Price holding forth on global economics, and professional soccer player Rio Ferdinand discussing knitting techniques.

The fifth and final tweet, accompanied by a picture of the celebrity holding a Snickers bar, was sent out 90 minutes later. It said, “You’re not you when you’re hungry” followed by “#hungry, #spon” and @snickersuk.

The complaints to the U.K. regulatory body said that the tweets were not obviously identifiable as a marketing communication, but Mars defended its position and described the campaign as an “innovative use of Twitter.”

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