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FTC Sends More Warnings to Celebs, Influencers

17 May, 2017 By: Doug McPherson

WASHINGTON – The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued another warning to 52 celebrities and social media stars about the rules for influencer marketing, particularly regarding disclosure of paid relationships.

Among the recipients: Sofia Vergara, Lindsay Lohan, Naomi Campbell, Heidi Klum, Victoria Beckham, Kourtney Kardashian, and Sean Combs. The letter noted they must clearly and prominently disclose that brands are paying them for their social media posts.

Brands, too, must disclose payment. Brands receiving letters include: Chanel, Dunkin’ Donuts, Johnson & Johnson, Puma, and others.

The letter read in part: “The Endorsement Guides apply to marketers and endorsers. FTC staff guidance makes clear that marketers should advise endorsers of their disclosure responsibilities and should monitor their endorsements to ensure that appropriate disclosures are made.”

Last month, the FTC sent letters to nearly 100 social media influencers and their advertising partners, warning them to follow the rules on consumer disclosure and transparency, or risk legal sanctions and fines.

In 2015, Kim Kardashian and drug maker Duchesnay ran afoul of the FTC and FDA for failing to disclose the social media star was being paid to promote Diclegis, a morning sickness drug.

Also last year, the FTC called out Warner Bros. for a social media influencer campaign that did not clearly disclose the fact influencers were being paid to promote its “Lord of the Rings” video game, “Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor.”

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