Aussie musician Shannon Noll has been mentioned in the Cash for Tweet controversy, unveiled this week via ABC TV show Media Watch.
The show outed the former Australian Idol contestant for being on the pay-roll of the South Australian Tourism Commission which paid celebrities to tweet about tourist destination Kangaroo Island.
“All this moving and dancing training! I think I need a break! I heard Kangaroo Island is awesome. Thoughts anyone?,” tweeted Noll who then passed “go” and collected $750.
Celebrity Chef Matt Moran was also mentioned in the controversy.
While the SA Tourism Commission called the campaign “a legitimate marketing tool” marketing site Mumbrella reports that the tweets may be illegal.
Under Australian law, Australian Consumer Law forbids “misleading and deceptive conduct”.
The Shannon Noll and Matt Moran Kangaroo Island tweets were presented as statements, not advertising and could be deemed unlawful as the celebrities failed to disclose they were affiliated with the Kangaroo Island brand.
The controversy echoes the “cash for comment” scandal a decade ago when radio celebrities John Laws and Alan Jones were both found guilty of misleading the general public with advertisements presented to their radio listeners as editorial.
Because the Noll/Moran scandal is online it is unclear if they have broken any laws pertaining to media and advertising at this stage. Regardless, it looks like that loop-hole will be sealed ASAP.