Wednesday 6 May 2020 12:01 am

Alan Sugar told to brush up on ad rules over teeth whitening tweet

Lord Alan Sugar has been given a ticking off by the advertising watchdog for failing to make it clear that his tweet about a teeth whitening kit was an advert.

In a tweet posted in December the Apprentice star shared a link to a Stylsmile teeth whitening product, stating: “If you know someone who’s longing for whiter teeth, this is the perfect xmas gift for them.”

Read more: Health clinics blasted by ad watchdog over IV drip coronavirus claims

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.

However, a complainant challenged whether the sweetly-named business guru had been transparent about the commercial intent of his social media post.

Stylsmile argued that Sugar’s links to the teeth whitening company were a “well-known fact” and that the Amstrad billionaire was known to post about his businesses on social media on a daily basis.

But the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that the commercial intent behind the tweet was not made clear upfront and told both parties to use a clear and prominent identifier on their social media posts, such as #ad.

It is not the first time the business magnate and TV personality, who has more than 5m followers on Twitter, has caused controversy on social media.

Read more: Burger King grilled for advertising plant-based burger not suitable for vegans

In 2018 the belligerent boss faced heavy criticism for a tweet in which he compared the Senegal football team to people selling fake handbags and sunglasses on beaches.

Sugar initially refused to apologise for his tweet, which was branded racist, before backtracking to say his “attempt at humour had backfired”.