A former star of reality TV show The Only Way Is Essex has been accused of taking advantage of her enormous social media following in a competition to win a free electric car.
Maria Fowler, who starred on the hit ITV show from 2010-11, took to Twitter to urge follower to considering signing up with energy supplier Octopus Energy — and insisted her endorsement “isn’t an ad”.
It has since emerged however that the firm is running a competition to win an electric vehicle, with winners selected based on how many people they can refer to Octupus Energy. The Sun reports Fowler now tops the table, meaning she will get first choice of a BMW i3, Tesla Model X, Jaguar I-Pace, Nissan Leaf, an electric scooter or a VanMoof e-bike.
At the time of writing, Fowler boasts over 426,000 followers on Twitter.
Despite the seemingly good-natured manner of the Tweet, some users took a cynical view. One said: “426k followers… Wouldn’t take many to sign up via her link to pay for her yearly bill”, while another directly Tweeted Octopus Energy with “I’d struggle to get one to switch in a year. She is out performing your whole marketing department. I don’t like it. We will see ‘Maria’ knocking about in a Tesla soon.”
Fowler defended herself against that particular user, hitting back with: “I’m trying as hard as everybody else & enjoy social media and helping people save money so it’s the perfect competition for me!”
Speaking to Mail Online, Greg Jackson, Octopus Energy chief executive, said: ‘We’re not surprised this competition has taken off because the electric vehicles Octopus Energy customers can win are amazing.
“We’ve got absolutely no problem with Maria entering, she is completely entitled to do so – we wish her and everyone playing the best of luck. All Octopus customers know the only way is electric.”