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Yes, Bad Publicity: FTC to Crack Down on Celebrity Endorsements August 7, 2016

Posted by lborodkin in : Uncategorized , add a comment

Great meeting at the FTC today. Stricter disclosure FTW! Love it : )

Both Bloomberg and Marie Claire broke stories last Friday that the FTC is going to pursue investigation of celebrity endorsements that aren’t clearly advertisements.

The announcement is the continuation of the FTC getting tougher with entertainment-based companies that do not clearly follow FTC Guidelines such as the proposed consent order in the Warner Bros. settlement with the FTC over “Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor” game influencers with influencers such as YouTube star PewDiePie.

This blog previously reported the “Pony Stars” Disney’s $3 million consent judgment with the FTC over alleged violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act by collecting the data of thousands of children under age 13 without parental consent.

The FTC‘s interest in extending regulatory probes into the music, gaming and children’s entertainment industries is the writing on the wall that players in those industries need to rethink the old Hollywood adage “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” If the publicity is paid for, you better tell the public who paid and how much, or else face FTC scrutiny.

On a somewhat related note, more ideas about “How to Act as a Business in a World in Which User Feedback and Reviews Are Critical to Your Reputation and Business” can be found in the presentation that Bennett Kelly and I did for the 12th Annual Stanford 2015 E-Commerce Best Practices Conference presentation on June 8, 2015 with Laurence Wilson of Yelp, Ed Chansky of Greenberg Traurig and attorney Francine Ward.

Slides of the presentation below:

(Photo Credit: Ted Murphy under Creative Commons license via flickr) Shoutout to my old BlogWorld 2009 panelists on “Sponsored Conversations” Ted Murphy, Jeremiah Owyang, Jennifer Leggio and Wendy Piersall.