In United States, Celebrities have been warned over promoting products on Instagram, in return for payment.
To more than ninety individuals and marketing firms, letters have been sent by the regulator, and nothing is declared about who is put under the notice. However, it is for the first time that the regulator has intervened on the issue.
The posts are targeted by The Federal Trade Commission, who is looking after whether a post has referenced a brand or directly endorsed products.
As per the rule, any celebrity or influencer, if endorsing a brand must clearly declare connections to it and declare if a payment has been made for the advertisement. Apart from celebrities and influencers, the rules apply to marketing agencies too, who are involved in such deals.
“Instagram has become a Wild West of disguised advertising, targeting young people and especially young women”, said an advocacy group.
“It is often unclear whether an Instagram user is paid to post a product endorsement or if they genuinely use it. That’s exactly why brands are using influencer marketing as a primary way to reach young consumers. But without clear disclosure, brands are deceiving consumers and reaping the monetary benefits.”
The advocacy group carried out investigation last year and revealed that celebrities have been endorsing products without disclosure.