The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) appears to be preparing for another crackdown on shady influencer marketing.
Commissioner Rohit Chopra has published a statement that suggests the current regulations there need to be toughened up. “Misinformation is plaguing the digital economy, and recent no-money, no-fault FTC settlements with well-known retailers and brands to address fake reviews and undisclosed influencer endorsements may be doing little to deter deception,” wrote Chopra. “The FTC will need to determine whether to create new requirements for social media platforms and advertisers and whether to activate civil penalty liability.”
Instagram, YouTube and TikTok are mentioned as examples of social platforms where influencer marketing is major or growing rapidly, while brands are also under the spotlight.
“I am concerned that companies paying for undisclosed influencer endorsements and reviews are not held fully accountable for this illegal activity,” wrote Chopra. “Going forward, we need to seek tougher remedies for companies that are illegally astroturfing or disguising their advertising as an authentic endorsement or review.”
Music Ally’s message to music companies remains, as ever, to pay close attention to guidelines and regulations about how paid influencer campaigns should be disclosed, and to make sure their influencer partners meet the requirements with their posts.