French regulator bars 'Follow us on Twitter' on TV

By the Associated Press | June 6, 2011 | 9:14 AM EDT

PARIS (AP) — France's audiovisual regulator says broadcasters may not use promotional lines like "Follow us on Twitter" or "Find us on Facebook."

Many French bloggers have ridiculed and bemoaned the May 27 ruling from France's Superior Audiovisual Council CSA. It says that citing social media by name could violate France's ban on secret advertising on the airwaves.

The CSA's press office told The Associated Press on Monday it has advised broadcasters to instead use the generic term "social media" when promoting their online offerings, and refer to Facebook or Twitter only when a report or program merits a specific reference.

The ruling — in response to a TV station's query — went largely unnoticed in traditional media until bloggers picked up on it.