FTC Advertising Crack-Down Hits Kendall Jenner + 90 Celebs

When advertising floods digital & TV airwaves, it gets saturated and advertisers turn to new methods. That new method: celebrity endorsements on their personal social media accounts.

MarketWatch reporter @kari_paul cites: of the Top 50 Celebrities on Instagram, only 7% disclosed those endorsed posts. Whether this is uncharted territory for advertisers and celebrities, or a lapse in judgement, the FTC is cracking down.

FTC issued warning letters to Kendall Jenner and more than 90 celebrities this year, reminding them to clearly and conspicuously disclose their relationships with brands when promoting or endorsing products on social media.

Jeff Greenfield of C3 Metrics advanced advertising measurement and attribution firm said, “the reason we’re seeing these brand endorsements on celebrities personal accounts now is because of three things in media and advertising: first, people are ‘watching’ TV while also on their Internet devices; second, non-viewable programmatic display ads have reached a high of 68%; third, it now takes more ad dollars and touchpoints to drive conversions and revenue…thus leading brands to new forms of content marketing which blurs the line the FTC is cracking down on.”

GE was one of the first big brands returning to sponsored content as Ad Age journalist @jpoggi reported GE sponsoring segments with Jimmy Fallon showcasing kids’ inventions on The Tonight Show. However, the sponsorship was obvious and disclosed.

Celebrity endorsements via social media are the new trend, however backlash comes when consumers are not aware of the endorsement deals between brands and their favorite celebrities. The FTC is now taking notice (and giving over 90 notices to celebrities).