It turns out a slew of your favourite celebrities might actually be bad ass criminals.
While they’re certainly not Hollywood’s real-life answer to Suicide Squad (sorry to disappoint), at least 90 celebs and Instagram influencers are in big trouble with the FTC for not disclosing when a social media post has been sponsored.
If you thought the ‘#ad’ hashtag at the end of (very obvious) advertisements on your feed were just celebs’ way of distancing themselves from the often super cringe photos they’re being paid to post, it’s actually because it’s illegal not to state exactly that.
Earlier today, the Federal Trade Commission released a statement saying it has sent letters to almost 100 famous celebrities or Insta-stars reminding them of the rules surrounding paid posts, including anything given as a gift by a brand (AKA those free private jets the Jenners and Hadids have been zipping around in, of late).
While the statement didn’t disclose the exact recipients of said letter, The Fashion Law seems to have a pretty fair idea, stating, “the Kardashian/Jenners, A$AP Rocky, David and Victoria Beckham; actresses Anne Hathaway, Blake Lively, Ashley Benz, Shay Mitchell, and Lucy Hale; models Bella and Gigi Hadid, Irina Shayk, Emily Ratajkowski, Naomi Campbell, Chrissy Teigen, and Heidi Klum; Scott Disick, Pharrell, Steph Curry, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Drake, One Direction members Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan; and Jennifer Lopez” were among those whose names were specifically mentioned to the FTC.
Among other things, the letter addresses that on mobile, viewers only see the top three lines of captions and have to click ‘more’ to read the rest. Therefore, it should be obvious within the first sentence when a post is sponsored.
It also points out that hashtags such as ‘#sp’ and ‘#partner’, as well as ‘Thanks [Brand]’ weren’t enough, so prepare for some painful captions in the very near future.