Category Archives: Social Media

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Investing Under the Influence? SEC Issues Warning Letters to Celebrities and Social Influencers

Earlier this month, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a warning to celebrities and social influencers who use social media to encourage consumers to invest and/or purchase stocks. Recent celebrity endorsements for investment in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) were highlighted as examples in the SEC’s warning. In the future, if celebrities and social influencers … Continue Reading

Instagram Expands its Influencer Tool, but is it Enough?

In June, we posted that Instagram users would start seeing a new “Paid partnership with” tag on certain posts. The company explained that this was part of a tool designed to “help creators more clearly communicate to their followers when they are working in partnership with a business.” (It also allows users to better track the performance of … Continue Reading

KDW Ad Law Presents “Advertising Under The Influence: Rules of the Road For Your Company’s Next Influencer Campaign” via Webinar on Thursday, November 9, at Noon Eastern

Social media influencers help drive consumer engagement with the brands they love. Better reviews, more “likes,” and thousands of re-tweets can all add up to a bigger bottom line and greater insight into what sells and what doesn’t. When the line between advertising and objective content isn’t made clear, though, it can also prompt legal … Continue Reading

What Does Tweeeeeting Mean for Advertisers?

This week, the news broke that tweets are likely getting longer.  Twitter plans to extend the maximum length of a tweet from 140 to 280 characters, and has already rolled this feature out to selected users.  What are the implications for advertisers, especially those struggling to cope with the need to disclose material connections to … Continue Reading

FTC Takes Action Against Social Media Influencers

This morning, the FTC announced that it had reached a settlement in its first-ever complaint against individual social media influencers and that it had sent warning letters to other prominent influencers. In addition, the FTC announced that it had updated previous guidance on influencer campaigns. Settlement The settlement involves Trevor Martin and Thomas Cassell, owners … Continue Reading

Consumer Groups Push for More Regulation of Influencers

In November, we posted that four consumer groups had sent letters to FTC, encouraging the agency to investigate and bring enforcement actions regarding the use of influencers on Instagram. In April, the FTC responded by sending more than 90 letters to companies and influencers, reminding the recipients of their legal obligations. Now, the consumer groups … Continue Reading

Instagram Announces a New Tool for Influencers

Last year, we posted that four consumer groups had sent letters to FTC, encouraging the agency to “investigate and bring enforcement actions related to the practice of non-disclosed advertising through influencer user profiles on Instagram.” Earlier this year, the FTC responded by sending more than 90 letters to companies and influencers, reminding recipients of their … Continue Reading

FTC Staff Reminds Brands and Influencers About Disclosure Requirements

In November, we posted that four consumer groups had sent letters to FTC, encouraging the agency to investigate and bring enforcement actions regarding the use of influencers on Instagram. In what may be a response to that encouragement, the FTC just announced that it had sent more than 90 letters to companies and influencers, reminding the recipients … Continue Reading

Ad Law News and Views Newsletter

Did you know Kelley Drye’s Advertising Law practice produces a newsletter, Ad Law News and Views, every two weeks to help you stay current on ad law and privacy matters? Click here to access our Publication Sign Up and select Advertising and Marketing to subscribe. Find contents from the latest issue below: Click here to view with … Continue Reading

Announcing the Advertising and Privacy Law Webinar Series

Please join Kelley Drye in 2017 for the Advertising and Privacy Law Webinar Series. Like our annual in-person event, this series will provide engaging speakers with extensive experience and knowledge in the fields of advertising, privacy, and consumer protection. These webinars will give key updates and provide practical tips to address issues faced by counsel. … Continue Reading

Groups Renew Call for FTC to Act on Influencer Campaigns

In September, we noted that four groups – Public Citizen, Commercial Alert, the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, and the Center for Digital Democracy – had sent a joint letter to FTC encouraging the agency to investigate and bring enforcement actions related to the use of influencers on Instagram. The letter included examples of … Continue Reading

Groups Urge FTC to Act on Influencer Campaigns

This week, four groups – Public Citizen, Commercial Alert, the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, and the Center for Digital Democracy – sent a joint letter to FTC encouraging the agency to “investigate and bring enforcement actions related to the practice of non-disclosed advertising through influencer user profiles on Instagram.” As we reported last month, … Continue Reading

FTC Ponders Disclosures in Celebrity Posts

Last week, Bloomberg ran an article suggesting that the FTC is about to “crack down on paid celebrity posts” that aren’t labeled as ads. If you read this blog, you already know this is a big priority for the FTC. In fact, the agency has launched investigations against a number companies who used influencers to … Continue Reading

NY Attorney General Announces 4 Settlements Over False Endorsements

Last year, we posted about a settlement between the FTC and Machinima over an influencer campaign. This week, the NY Attorney General announced a settlement with Machinima over the same campaign, along with settlements with three other companies that allegedly solicited false endorsements. In 2013, Machinima paid gaming “influencers” to post videos endorsing Microsoft’s Xbox … Continue Reading

FTC Announces Settlement Over Influencer Campaign for Xbox One

In January 2014, AdAge interviewed me about news reports that Machinima had hired influencers to create videos promoting Microsoft’s Xbox One gaming console and games. In a native advertising campaign, the influencers posted positive reviews, but didn’t disclose that they had been paid to do so. During the interview, we speculated about whether the FTC … Continue Reading

FTC Updates FAQs for Endorsement Guides, Offers More Guidance on Social Media and Video Endorsements

The FTC recently revised its “What People are Asking” page, a source of informal guidance relating to the FTC’s Endorsement Guides.  The Endorsement Guides were last revised in 2009.  The FAQ revisions are intended to address current advertising and marketing trends, such as the use of Twitter endorsements, “like” buttons, and uploaded videos. The revisions … Continue Reading

Privacy Groups Ask FTC to Investigate Contest Sponsor for Alleged COPPA Violations

Last week, ten privacy groups requested that the FTC open an investigation into a Topps Co. online contest, which they allege violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Specifically, the groups claim that Topps’s #RockThatRock contest collected photos of children under age 13 without obtaining their parents’ consent. Last spring, Topps invited its Facebook, … Continue Reading

FTC Closes an Investigation Involving Reviews by Employees

In previous posts, we’ve noted that if a person who writes a review about a product has a connection to the company that makes the product, that connection should be clearly disclosed. The types of connections that trigger this disclosure requirement include things such as payments, free products, and, of course, employment. According to press … Continue Reading

Kelley Drye Offers Webinar on “Hot Topics in Social Media” July 9 at 2 PM

Social media is a powerful marketing tool. It’s personal, dynamic, and reaches an unlimited number of consumers. But, the value of social media can be tempered by the legal risks. Both the Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration have been paying close attention to social media activities by dietary supplement companies and … Continue Reading

Native Advertising Blunder Gets Media Attention

Readers of our blog know that if a company provides people incentives to promote its products, the company needs to ensure those people clearly disclose their relationship to the company. But (for reasons we’re still investigating) not everyone reads this blog, and not everyone is aware of this requirement. Microsoft recently signed a sponsored content … Continue Reading
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