Mars has become the subject of an investigation by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority following a campaign involving footballer Rio Ferdinand and model Katie Price to endorse its Snickers bar using social media site Twitter.
Mars said that five celebrities were paid to promote Snickers on Twitter as part of its "You're not you when you're hungry" campaign.
Tweets from Rio Ferdinand, Katie Price, boxer Amir Khan, ex-cricketer Ian Botham and X-factor contestant Cher Lloyd are all under review after they shared images of themselves tucking into Snickers bars.
Social media marketing potential
Mintel analyst Robert Parkin spoke to ConfectioneryNews.com about the potential of social networks for large companies.
“One of the great success stories of Twitter is the celebrity accounts, with individuals amassing large numbers of followers,” he said.
“The appeal of getting those celebrities on board and utilising those accounts to access such a large number of consumers is clear.”
“Social media remains a genuine opportunity to engage with consumers, with creative and inspiring campaigns which both consumer and brand are able to benefit from,” he continued.
He said that Twitter had undergone several changes last year in an attempt to encourage brand participation.
“It's still very much in the early stages of brand involvement and remains a relatively niche network, by comparison to other social networks.”
“As with all social media it's still very much a case of experimentation with what approach to communication with consumers is and isn't successful,” he said.