Lord Alan Sugar today launched a biting attack on the advertising watchdog as he clashed with regulators over a tweet promoting a teeth whitening kit.
The Apprentice star had a brush with the law after he failed to clarify the commercial intent behind a tweet advertising a Stylsmile teeth whitening product.
The dental brand was set up by entrepreneur Tom Pellereau, who won The Apprentice in 2011 and became Sugar’s first ever business partner from the show. The moody mogul owns a 50 per cent stake in Stylsmile.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) censured Sugar over the incident and told him to ensure future social media posts promoting products were clearly marked as adverts.
But the regulator may have bitten off more than it can chew, as the Amstrad billionaire mounted a tongue-in-cheek retaliation on social media this afternoon.
“Dear Advertising Standards Authority, thank you for the free PR for Stylsmile,” he wrote in a tweet linking to an article about the ruling.
The tweet contained a string of hashtags mocking the watchdog’s request for clear labelling of promotional posts through the use of #ad, while Sugar also wrote “#tossers”.
In an apparent reference to the ASA ruling the TV personality, who has more than 5m followers on Twitter, today posted two further tweets relating to businesses he jointly runs, accompanied by the #ad hashtag.