The Channel 4 Dispatches programme Celebs, Brands and Fake Fans showed us an insight into the world of social media and how celebrities get paid to tweet obvious endorsements for brands. The show exposed how some celebrities were keen to as I put it, ‘tweet for a treat’, i.e. either for a free gift or a cash reward with very little knowledge of what they were tweeting about. For example the programme uncovered how Russell Kane tweeted about how much he loved a particular watch, when in fact the brand turned out to be fake.
The show also embarrassed a number of Coronation Street stars by setting up a fake brand called Puttana Aziendale which sold bracelets which promised to have special healing powers and showcasing it at gift fair with a number of other stalls. The deal was the celebrities received these free gifts in return for a tweet about the brand. A few of the cast did just that and tweeted just how much they loved these “healing” bracelets.
I am certainly more sceptical now when it comes to celebrity tweets. Over the past few days I have been scanning a few celebrities Twitter pages looking for evidence of gushing tweets about something they have probably been sent by a PR company. And guess what? I found literally loads of them, scrolling through these celebs pictures I found them thanking certain companies for sending them samples of everything from food to baby clothes and bracelets.
In fact, today I saw a celebrity promote a nail technician on Twitter who had around 30 followers, saying how fabulous her nail manicure was and within around approximately fifteen minutes her followers had more than doubled to 72. This just shows the power of celebrity promotion.
With the Daily Mail Online recently adding a feature called ‘FeMail Fashion Finder’ whereby they locate where the showbiz star’s outfit is from or suggest copycat versions, it is now easier for us to discover what the celebrities are wearing. Companies are very aware of this and will undoubtedly send free samples to celebrities in the hope that they will get photographed in it.
Whilst there is nothing wrong with someone exclaiming about how much they genuinely love something or a particular brand it is the false endorsement which most of us will find distasteful. There is a big difference between genuinely loving something and falsely raving about it because you feel the brand want you to.