Feds Crack Down on Social Media "Influencers" Over Instagram Plugs

October 4, 2017Media Mention
The Hollywood Reporter

Influencers earn their name by doing just that: influencing their millions of followers online. The agency is cracking down on common Instagram post practices like burying sponsorship disclosures in a string of hashtags, saying only "thanks to" a company in a post or merely tagging the brand.

"A big part of the influencer economy, which has been booming, is based on posts that likely violate the endorsement guidelines," says attorney Jesse Saivar, who reps both companies and influencers. “I remember having to kill a deal a few years ago because neither the brand or the influencer understood that they couldn’t just post without notifying users that it was sponsored.”

It’s a natural conflict, pitting brands that want marketing to seem organic against the agency that’s dedicated to making sure consumers aren’t misled. To avoid trouble, endorsers need to say — where it's easy to see — that they were paid to post or given a product for free. Using "#Ad" can be enough.

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