Federal regulators are putting dozens of celebrities on notice over their sponsored Instagram posts.
The Federal Trade Commission mentioned Wednesday that it transmitted more than 90 a letter addressed to suns, contestants and label marketers whom it claims were not clearly labelling paid social media endorsements.
Youve likely appreciated these kind of posts on Instagram before: contestants posing with protein shakes and models writing about how much they adore their new acai scalp cream. Often, stars get paid for themand the FTC isn’t a fan of not making that clear.
The letters recognize the first time relevant agencies has contacted influencers themselves about its freshly stiffened disclosure governs. The mailing isn’t an official warningthe agency framed it as a “reminder” meant to “educate” recipients.
The announcement quotes a complaint being submitted by consumer rights group Public Citizen as the impetus for the letters.
The agency declined to name names in its proclamation, but the number of complaints listings examples of alleged violations from Rihanna, One Direction, A$ AP Rocky, Anne Hathaway, Emily Ratajkowski, and Steph Curry, among many others.
The FTC said it examined each of those posts but didn’t inevitably check if they were actually paid advertisements.
As a growing number of marketers tap celebrities to plug labels to their massive social media audiences, the FTC has been cracking down on publicities it sees as deceptive.
The agency said last summer that certain common abridged markers #ad, #sp, and #sponsored are no longer considered a clear enough indication.
Regulators typically threw the onus of adhering to these rules on the marketers commissioning the posts rather than individual influencers.
Even so, any possible retributions are comparatively light. The agency can force an apologetic, require that customers be reimbursed, or impose a fine of up to $40,000 if the decision is to take the matter to court.
Perhaps that’s why celebrities still often waive the mandated labels. On Snapchat, for example, popular consumers only started marking ads last fall. On Twitter, where space is restriction, influencers often flout the rule.
Public Citizen “ve called the” FTC’s act “welcome, but insufficient” on Wednesday.
“Instagram has become a Wild West of cloaked advertise, targeting youths and especially young women, ” Public Citizen chairman Robert Weissman said in a statement. “Thats not going to change unless the FTC makes clear that it aims to enforce the core principles of fair advertise law.”
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