Though a number of us have now become desensitised to Instagram posts from celebrities with a product-pushing agenda, it’s evident that many are still oblivious and left in the dark about it. For that reason, the U.S. government is stepping in to crack down on sponsored content.
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The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is going all out to educate celebrities and influencers on the ethical practices for promoting products on social media, and to remind them about transparency. Know how celebrities bury the obscured #ad shoutout below lengthy captions and in the throngs of hashtags? They can’t do that anymore.
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Amongst the FTC’s other new regulations include disclosing “material connection” with the brands promoted, revealing “a business or family relationship, a payment, or the gift of a free product”, and being clear and conspicuous about disclosures when it comes to endorsements.
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In addition, social media influencers and celebrities are to “disclose any material connection above the ‘more’ button” on Instagram, since social media users can only see the first three lines of a caption before having to click for more on mobile. Will these influencers comply and ditch their shady behaviour? Only time will tell..
We believe this is a great move that should have been implemented a long time ago. Perhaps it’s time for the Malaysian government to pick up on this too? We all know how notoriously sneaky these influencers can be..