Call to bring undisclosed social media endorsements under scanner

Exchange 4 Media

Consumer advocacy groups in the US are seeking higher accountability and honesty from micoinfluencers, bloggers and celebrity influencers using social media applications like Instagram and Facebook to review and endorse products and services. In a letter sent to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on November 30, four advocacy groups have urged the Commission to enforce its policy which states that paid endorsements should be identified with #advertisement or #ad.

Microinfluencers are increasingly gaining traction among their social media followers, becoming legitimate promoters of brands, products and services. This calls for accountability of these social media influencers. “Undisclosed paid endorsements from average consumers represents a dangerous trend that the FTC must address, since people generally place more trust in recommendations made by their peers and have no reason to believe that their friends, colleagues and family are engaging in paid product promotion. Thus, companies are preying off of the trust and relatability of smaller level influencers,” the letter stated.

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