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The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating claims that some advertisers are using participants in reality TV shows to plug products or services to their followers on social media without it being made clear to those followers that their reality TV idol is being paid in cash or kind for the “endorsement” This breaches the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) guidelines which require paid endorsements to be presented as such, to enable the purchaser to evaluate whether the celebrity claims for the use of the product are genuine and impartial, and therefore can be trusted, or whether they are paid for and therefore worth spit.

Some reality show participants, and their paymasters, already criticised by the ASA are Millie Mackintosh (Britvic) and Louise Thompson (Daniel Wellington) from Made in Chelsea, Marnie Simpso (Diamond White) from Geordie Shore, Stephanie Davis (Convits UK) from Celebrity Big Brother and presenter A.J.Odjudu (Alpro).

It is thought that some of the coyness about payments made is not unconnected to possible financial interest in them from HMRC

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