Product endorsements in advertising are nothing new, but the increasing popularity of social media in recent years has raised challenges for the regulation of fair advertising.

Advertising in the UK is regulated by the Advertising Standards Authority ("ASA") and advertisers and media owners are expected to ensure that they comply with the UK Advertising Codes.  As in this article, in the case of Twitter this often means using the hashtag "#ad" at the start of the advertisement.

The ASA rules on complaints and failures to comply with the Codes and rulings are published on its website.  Non-compliance is enforced by Trading Standards and can, in the worst cases, result in criminal prosecution and/or confiscation of financial assets.

If you are producing advertisements in any form it is sensible to make sure that you comply with the Codes to avoid the risk of inadvertently incurring sanctions.