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Britain's Olympic athletes warned over 'deceptive' advertising on Twitter

April 10, 2012 - London

Britain's Olympic athletes have been warned to stop advertising products by various sponsors on social networks like Twitter.

Athletes have been shamelessly advertising everything from cars to breakfast cereal on Twitter after signing lucrative sponsorship deals, without declaring they have a relationship with the brands.

But the athletes could land themselves into trouble as the UK's Office of Fair Trading has warned against 'deceptive' advertising on Twitter and told celebrities they must make it clear if they are being paid, in cash or with gifts, by a company, The Daily Mail reports.

According to the paper, top athletes have already come under fire for focusing too heavily on their advertising deals, rather than their training.

The Office of Fair Trading now wants to see people declare their affiliations to brands on their social networking sites.

"Online advertising and marketing practices that do not disclose they include paid for promotions are deceptive under trading laws," the paper quoted a spokesman, as saying.

Meanwhile, BMW said its athletes were 'not contractually obliged' to promote the cars on Twitter, but said it was 'pleased' that they appeared to be enjoying them so much.


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