But the Federal Trade Commission, an independent agency of the United States government, is warning celebrities that if they’re getting a kickback from these product endorsements, they need to be more up-front about it. The FTC recently sent out more than 90 letters to celebrities, social media influencers, agents, and brands, making it clear that they are required to disclose when they’re being compensated for a social media post.
“The FTC’s Endorsement Guides state that if there is a ‘material connection’ between the endorser and the marketer of a product – in other words, a connection that might affect the weight or credibility that consumers give the endorsement – that connection should be clearly and conspicuously disclosed…” the letters read, in part. “Material connections could consist of a business or family relationship, monetary payment, or the provision of free products to the endorser.”
If the posters aren’t being compensated in any way and are posting purely out of their own enthusiasm, though, there’s no problem. “If you write about how much you like something you bought on your own and you’re not being rewarded, you don’t have to worry,” the letters stated. In other words, if it’s not actually sponsored content, it’s fine.
Recipients of the letter included brands such as Adidas, Chanel, and Johnson & Johnson, as well as celebs Sean Combs, Ciara, Kristin Cavallari, Naomi Campbell, Sofia Vergara, Heidi Klum, Amber Rose, Victoria Beckham, Emily Ratajkowski, Scott Disick, Lindsay Lohan, Zendaya, and Bella Thorne. WWD has the full list, here.
Interestingly, the only Kardashian called out was Kourtney; sisters Kim and Khloé Kardasian and Kylie Jenner weren’t given a warning, despite their frequent posting of sponsored content.
Image via Instagram.
Comment: Have you ever bought a product because a celebrity posted about it on social media?