The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is to launch an investigation into the practice of celebrities endorsing companies via Twitter following claims they are misleading consumers.

According to the watchdog, companies that use the practice as part of their internet marketing services are failing to clearly state that the endorsement is part of a paid-for promotion, the Guardian reports.

In the US, stars such as Snoop Dogg can earn around $3,000 (£1,900) a tweet for mentioning a brand, but advertising regulations in the country mean such posts must contain the word "ad" or "spon" to clearly identify them.

There is currently no such regulation in the UK, the newspaper stated and the OFT noted that failing to disclose paid-for services was "deceptive" under fair trading rules.

Media commentator Mark Borkowski told the publication Twitter is a "very powerful medium" and celebrity endorsements using it would become increasingly common in the UK.

Many celebrities have taken to using Twitter in the past few years to communicate with their fans, with Twitaholic noting that the people with the most followers include Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber.

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