America’s Federal Trade Commission has continued its crackdown on celebrities and social media influencers advertising products on Instagram without disclosing them as ads. Over 90 celebrities, influencers, and brands have received notice from the FTC about their undisclosed sponsored posts.
Last month the FTC announced that it was actively tracking Instagram looking for sponsored posts that aren’t disclosed. This is the reason you’ve probably noticed #ad appearing more regularly. But what does all this mean for social media marketing and, more importantly, the authenticity of your Instagram feed?
Well the FTC changes directly diminishes the value of endorsements through celebrities and influencers by making disclosure mandatory. Influencer marketing relied on word-of-mouth ideals, where followers could believe influencers were genuinely recommending products. Vague terms like “thanks @brand” or “much love to @brand” provided a grey area, alluding to a relationship with a brand but not definitive enough. Now we’ll know when celebrities are shilling products for cash and are less likely to be won over by their posts than before.
Check out our highlight of the name’s on the list below. You can also see the whole list (and even read the letters sent by the FTC) here.