British athletes should be careful about giving unauthorised plugs to their sponsors on Twitter or Facebook, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) warned yesterday.
Amid the run-up to the London 2012 Games, sports stars have been promoting anything from cereals to cars and make-up. The OFT believes they should declare they have a financial link to the brands if naming them on social-network sites.
Failing to disclose that an endorsement has been paid for by a trader is prohibited under UK and EU law. The OFT said: "The OFT could take civil or criminal action against the parties involved.
"The tweet or Facebook post involved should state clearly that the celebrity is being paid for the endorsement, e.g. sponsored."