Apprentice host Lord Alan Sugar has been slapped down by the ad watchdog over a blatant Twitter promotion for a teeth whitening kit, which he failed to mention was one of his numerous business ventures.
The Apprentice host tweeted in the run-up to last Christmas that a product from the brand Stylsmile – which he co-owns with 2011 show winner Tom Pellereau – would make a great pressie.
He wrote: “If you know someone who’s longing for whiter teeth, this is the perfect Xmas gift for them,” along with a link to the product’s website.
For once it was not Piers Morgan who picked up Sir Alan on the tweet but another Twitter follower who rifled off a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority, challenging whether the ad did not make clear its commercial intent.
In response, Stylsmile UK claimed it was a well-known fact that Sugar was involved in the business, insisting that he was known to post about his businesses on a daily basis on social media and the tweet was not a covert promotion.
However, the ASA was not impressed. In its ruling, it said: “We considered that although Lord Sugar was a well-known investor, it was not immediately clear to all consumers that he had a commercial interest in Stylsmile UK from the tweet itself. We therefore concluded that the commercial intent behind the tweet was not made clear upfront and it was not obviously identifiable as a marketing communication.”
Ordering that the tweet be removed, the regulator concluded: “We told Stylsmile UK and Lord Sugar to ensure that they made clear the commercial intent of their posts in future, for example by including a clear and prominent identifier on their social media posts such as #ad.”
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