British ASA Says Promotion Tweet for PCH Prizes Unfair

Published Friday, January 11, 2013 -

Today’s world of fast and furious communication has landed a few people in hot water lately with Tweets that raised an eyebrow or two along the way. Tweeting is one of the most popular forms of communication with millions of people putting whatever comes into their minds online daily.

One such tweet by British actor and television personality Keith Chegwin has landed him in the soup for enthusiastically urging his Tweet followers to visit the PCH Prizes website associated with the Alderney licensed Genting land and online gambling group. A member of the public voiced a complaint that said it was an advertisement for the web site. This position was supported by Britain's Advertising Standards Authority, which then issued a warning to PCH and in its response, PCH denied that they prompted the tweet or planned any role in deciding its content. In retaliation the PCH said it was Chegwin’s expression of free will and he was the only one with editorial control, despite the fact that the company has a promotional relationship with him, which seems to preclude the obvious.

PCH Prizes currently offers its players over 100 games, including all the most popular card, table games, casino and Slot machines. They also have Progressive Games, as well as Video Poker and Arcade games offering a wide variety and choice to players.

The company claimed that they are not responsible for the tweet and it was not a marketing communication, so it does not fall within the Advertising Standards Authority’s jurisdiction. The Authority did say however, "We considered that even if PCH's contract with KC did not specifically require or suggest that he should tweet about the competition, his tweet was directly related to his promotional activity for PCH and therefore the tweet formed part of that promotional activity; a reciprocal agreement existed in which KC was contracted to publicize PCH and PCH benefited from him doing so,"

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