“When companies launder advertising by paying an influential person to pretend that their support or review is untainted by a financial relationship, this is illegal payola,” wrote FTC commissioner Rohit Chopra in a statement released today. The FTC voted unanimously to issue a public consultation request on updated requirements for social media advertising, including a discussion over civil penalties. (The Logic)
Talking point: The commission is taking a sweeping look at influencer marketing campaigns, including the use of false reviews. The consultation is seeking comments on what kinds of disclosures and warnings should be mandated around influencer reviews. Chopra also called for, among other measures, new requirements to be placed on platforms like TikTok and Instagram that facilitate and profit, even indirectly, from influencer marketing. The FTC’s review comes two months after Canada’s Competition Bureau also asked nearly a hundred companies to review their marketing to ensure it complies with the law on disclosing paid promotions, or risk penalties.