Is that Instagram post really an #ad?

PHOENIX -

Are your favorite celebrity’s posts really just ads trying to get you to buy something?

 

Earlier this year the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent out a letter to some Instagram influencers, warning that they may not be doing a good enough job distinguishing their personal posts from promotional posts. 

 

The letter reminded them to "clearly and conspicuously disclose their relationships to brands." Some put “#ad” in the posts. 

 

But how do you or your children notice that little pound sign and those two letter amongst the dozens of others in the post?

 

Consumer advocacy group Public Citizen worries that many don't, and they're asking the FTC to stop sending letters and start taking action. 

 

The group says it monitored many accounts that received the warning after it was issued.

 

They included some celebrity accounts in which things like tanning lotion, perfume, vitamin injections and cellulite removal were prominently featured. 79 percent still weren't following the rules, according to the study.

 

Public Citizen wants Instagram to include a way for celebrities to prominently show it's an ad. The group also asks for enforcement action and penalties for repeat offenders. No word yet from the FTC about if it plans to adopt any changes in enforcement.

 

So what do you think? Are people too sensitive? Or should social media accounts have to abide by the same marketing rules as everybody else? Let me know.

 

Print this article Back to Top

What is Let Joe Know?

Let Joe Know protects YOU the consumer. We expose scams and hold businesses accountable for their contracts and agreements. Most important, we share consumer red flags before they hit your wallet!

ABC15's Let Joe Know reports air every weekday during ABC15 News at 6pm. You can also find them here and on the Let Joe Know Facebook page.

Want to help Let Joe Know? Become a volunteer! Call 1-855-323-1515 and leave your name, number to start helping us help others.

SO YOU WANT TO KNOW: COMMON QUESTIONS, EASY ANSWERS

REAL CHECK?
3-DAY CANCEL RULE
HOA DISPUTES 
DEBT COLLECTORS 
STOP JUNK MAIL
CHECKING CHARITIES
RENTAL DEPOSITS
ERASING ELECTRONICS
HIRING CONTRACTORS
PREVENT ID THEFT
IMPROVE CREDIT SCORES
CALL BLOCKERS
HOME WARRANTIES

WEBSITES YOU WANT TO KNOW

Free credit report
Class action settlements
Check businesses complaints
Contractor licenses
Latest recalls
Owed unclaimed money