Consumer groups want FTC to crack down on celebrity endorsements

Consumer Affairs
James R. Hood

Maybe you haven’t been following Trisha Paytas’ battle against bloat. The YouTube personality has been gushing on Instagram, Facebook, and elsewhere about how Flat Tummy Tea has supposedly helped her maintain a pleasing shape.

Could be, but critics say it’s more likely the tea is contributing to bloat in Trisha’s bank account. Consumer groups say it’s time for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to crack down on celebrity endorsements that are little more than hidden ads.

“Reality TV stars, actors and celebrities are often idolized, especially by young girls whose spending power and networks of followers attract companies that use undisclosed associations to prey upon insecurities by pushing beauty and health-related products,” said Kristen Strader, campaign manager for Public Citizen’s Commercial Alert.

“The weight loss and cosmetics industries are using Instagram influencers to sneakily market products ranging from teas promising weight loss to glittery eyeshadow. Only a tiny fraction of these ads are disclosed to users,” Strader said.