A Consumer Group Is Asking The FTC To Investigate Celebs For Shady Instagram Ads
In March 2017, the Federal Trade Commission sent “educational” letters to 46 celebrities who it believed weren’t properly disclosing ads on Instagram. Since receiving the letters, all but one of these celebrities have continued to post ads that are not FTC-compliant, according to the advocacy group Public Citizen. Today, the group is sending a new letter to the FTC asking it to do something it’s never done before: crack down on individual celebrities — not just brands — posting shady Instagram ads.
“The only way to get people to follow the rules is enforcement action,” Kristen Strader, campaign coordinator for Public Citizen’s Commercial Alert, told BuzzFeed News. “Without consequences, influencers and advertisers have no incentive to follow FTC policy and be honest with consumers.”
The group also wants the FTC to conduct a broad investigation into the current state of influencer marketing, including working with Instagram to come up with a better solution than the new “paid partnership with…” feature.
It’s unclear if the FTC will take Public Citizen’s advice and open an investigation or any other enforcement actions. The agency has not commented on the letter.