Phanda pusha pay: Celebrities Skhumba and Ntuli arrested for taking lottery money without disclosure


A screenshot from Skhumba Hlophe’s promotional video for the National Lottery. (Image: Twitter/@skhumbi)

  • Celebrities Skhumba Hlophe and Celeste Ntuli have not disclosed that the National Lottery paid them for posts on Twitter, the Advertising Regulatory Council has ruled.
  • The country’s advertising code requires sponsored influencer posts to be marked as such.
  • Neither the comedians nor lottery operator Ithuba are members of ARB, so he simply informed members that Twitter posts “should not be accepted for publication.”
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Paid social media videos promoting the South African National Lottery and posted on the Twitter accounts of comedians Skhumba Hlophe and Celetse Ntuli have breached South Africa’s advertising code, a regulator has said.

In the Twitter videos, Hlophe and Ntuli did not state that the Lotto ads were sponsored. Responding to a complaint, the Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB) has now told its members that promotions should “not be accepted for publication”, the only action open to it as neither the celebrities nor the operator of Ithuba lottery only are members.

The videos were part of an Ithbua campaign that sought to illustrate how the money he makes from ticket sales is distributed. It involved three South African comedians: Schalk Bezuidenhout, Ntuli and Hlophe, who all explained in separate videos how every R5 spent on a lottery ticket is divided.

He further explains that he contributes to lotto winnings, retailer commissions, lottery operational costs, and support for various charities and causes.

Of the three public figures, Bezuidenhout, with more than 12,000 Twitter followers, was the only comedian whose video had an #AD handle and whose official lottery account was tagged.

With over 207,000 Ntuli out of more than 68,000 Twitter followers by Hlophe, plus Bezuidenhout’s smallest following, the #KnowYourLottery campaign ranked at the top in South Africa between August 11-13.

The South African Advertising Code for Social Media and Influencer Marketing states that the hashtags #AD, #Advertisement or #Sponsored are included in posts.

In its ruling, the ARB said the ads were clearly not organic posts, and that the Ithuba Lotto logo and numbered lottery balls in the background further aggravated the situation.

“However, this is only likely to be discovered after watching a particular video in its entirety, which means that consumers do not have the necessary indicators to immediately realize that it is sponsored content. or paid, not organic social media,” it said.

Although some viewers may assume the content is sponsored, “this is not made clear in the manner required by the Code,” the ARB said.

The ad regulator also took issue with the fact that the promos were posted on artists’ Twitter pages, which it said could bolster subscribers’ assumptions that the content is organic and free.


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