Office of Fair Trading (OFT) Crackdown on Twitter Business Users

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has begun a crackdown on Twitter users and bloggers using their online presence to endorse products and companies without clearly stating their relationship with the brand, reports the Guardian.

The OFT has brought a case against a PR firm that was discovered to be paying bloggers to write effusively about its clients. The watchdog has launched an investigation into Handpicked Media, which operates a commercial blogging network – insisting that it must clearly state when promotional comments have been paid for.

In a statement, the OFT said online advertising and marketing that did not disclose paid-for promotions were “deceptive” under fair trading rules. “This includes comments about services and products on blogs and microblogs such as Twitter,” it said.

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