It’s not uncommon to see sponsored posts from celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Victoria Beckham on Instagram – Which is why The Federal Trade Commission or the FTC recently issued warnings to 47 celebrities who plugged products on their social media accounts.
The FTC warnings reminded influencers to clearly indicate their relationships with the brands that they are posting about – in other words, if they’re being paid to post the said products or services, they need to out rightly say so.
“The FTC’s Endorsement Guides state that if there is a ‘material connection’ between the endorser and the marketer of a product —“the FTC letters read. “In other words, a connection that might affect the weight or credibility that consumers give the endorsement — that connection should be clearly and conspicuously disclosed, unless the connection is already clear from the context of the communication containing the endorsement.
“Material connections could consist of a business or family relationship, monetary payment, or the provision of free products to the endorser,” the letter explained.
According to the FTC’s guidelines, language used on product promotions on influencers’ profiles should be “clear,” “conspicuous” and “unambiguous.”
FTC also raised its eyebrows on tags, links and multiple hashtags some celebs use, which may hide the fact that posts are paid ads.
In other words, it’s not enough that Kim Kardashian put #ad at the end of her tea detox posts. Sorry, Kim.
The FTC sent out 90 letters to 45 celebrities, their agents as well as the products they were promoting or talking about on their Instagram feeds.
Aside from Kim Kardashian and Victoria Beckham, celebrities that received the warnings include Sofia Vergara, Heidi Klum, Jennifer Lopez, Naomi Campbell, Lindsay Lohan, Kourtney Kardashian, Scott Disick, Zendaya, Emily Ratajkowski, Ashley Benson, Behati Prinsloo, Vanessa Hudgens, Sean Combs, Shay Mitchell and Lucy Hale, among others.
Meanwhile, brands like Chanel, Lorac Cosmetics, Yves Saint Laurent, EOS Products, Puma and Adidas also received letters.