Image Credit (TruthInAdvertising.org)
Remember that time I went on a little rant about the importance of disclosing blog advertising in your posts (You can find that post here)? Well, it’s no surprise that the issue has come up again, and this time the Kardashians and Jenners are involved.
The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) requires you to disclose when you are given compensation in exchange for an ad, or review, of a product. Disclosing social media advertising is NOT hard and it drives me crazy when I see celebrities and influencers posting pictures that are clearly sponsored, and they don’t disclose it. Someone else, Truth in Advertising, Inc., doesn’t like it either, and wrote a letter to the FTC about the Kardashians and Jenners’ failures to disclose. The letter gave specific examples of the famous fam’s failures. To no surprise, that included posts featuring waist trainers, Fit Tea and Sugar Bear hair. It also included mega-brands Balmain, Calvin Klein, Estée Lauder, OUAI Haircare, Lorraine Schwartz, Revolve, and Roberto Cavalli. Why is it such a big deal, you ask? For starters, the Kardashians and Jenners make hundreds of thousands of dollars off one single post. Kendall, for example, makes $300,000 for one instagram pic. (Side note: where can I sign up for that job???)
It is beyond me why celebs and influencers are still failing to disclose, and why brands aren’t doing more about it. Lord & Taylor got in trouble with the FTC earlier this year because instagram pictures posted by influencers (who were paid) did not clearly disclose their affiliation.
So, I’m going to say it again for all of the bloggers, influencers, celebs (hah), and brands reading this:
DISCLOSE, DISCLOSE, DISCLOSE.
And make it crystal clear. The FTC has now said that #spon isn’t enough, but #ad and #sponsored work for social media.
If you’re not sure whether you need to disclose, consider whether you were compensated to post (including free gifts) and whether you have a relationship with the brand (i.e. investors, spokesman). You should also disclose your affiliate links. Here’s a great example: The link to Revolve a few paragraphs up is an affiliate link (RewardStyle). See, so easy. Take a lesson Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, Kendall, and Kylie. Xo, AL
p.s. another disclosure – This blog post is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice.