Celebrities on Instagram are not disclosing paid endorsements, deceiving followers.
On September 7, 2016, Public Citizen, in partnership with the Center for Digital Democracy and Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, sent a letter to the FTC, demanding that it take immediate action to enforce its policy which states that paid endorsements on Instagram must be labeled.
Based on an investigation conducted by Public Citizen and what is clear to anyone who browses popular Instagram profiles, Instagram has become a platform for disguised advertising directed towards young consumers.
On November 30, 2016, we sent a follow-up letter to the FTC with recent examples of Instagram posts that do not disclose payment.
On April 19, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission sent 90 letters to influencers and brands, reminding them to “clearly and conspicuously disclose their relationships to brands when promoting or endorsing products through social media”.
On September 6, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission sent warning letters to 21 influencers, asking that they let the FTC know if they have material connections to the brands in the identified social media posts. If they do, the FTC has asked them to spell out the steps they will be taking to make sure they clearly disclose their material connections to brands and businesses.
Click on any image below to scroll through a slideshow of examples.