Tags: ftc | instagram | influencers | stop | stealth | ads

FTC: Instagram Influencers Must Stop Undisclosed Stealth Ads

Image: FTC: Instagram Influencers Must Stop Undisclosed Stealth Ads
The FTC has warned 90 Instagram power-users to make sure they're properly disclosing sponsored content. (Carl Court/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 20 Apr 2017 03:30 PM

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent letters to 90 Instagram users warning them to be more transparent about posts sponsored by a brand, which are effectively ads.

The Instagrammers warned included celebrities, athletes, and other stars that have large followings with which to peddle products and create awareness for brands, according to Business Insider. The FTC did not reveal which people were contacted.

The FTC has rules about how sponsored content should be disclosed and is asking big-name Instagram users not to rely on hashtags like #sp (signaling a sponsored post) or #partner to let viewers know about sponsored content, since many mobile Instagram users don’t see that part of the post.

Other warnings have been issued by the FTC to Instagram users for similar behavior, and in March 2016 the agency filed a complaint against Lord & Taylor for giving dresses to fashion influencers and paying them to take photos of themselves wearing the dresses.

The FTC also can levy financial consequences on violators, and did so to Warner Bros. in July 2016 when the company paid influencers but didn’t enforce disclosure of the payments.

“If there is a ‘material connection’ between an endorser and an advertiser ... that connection should be clearly and conspicuously disclosed,” the FTC said in a statement. “A material connection could be a business or family relationship, monetary payment, or the gift of a free product.”

The FTC said these types of Instagram posts should be labeled “ad,” “promotion,” or “sponsored” to make the connection clear.

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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent letters to 90 Instagram users warning them to be more transparent about posts sponsored by a brand, which are effectively ads.
ftc, instagram, influencers, stop, stealth, ads
254
2017-30-20
Thursday, 20 Apr 2017 03:30 PM
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