FTC Urged To Investigate Celebrity Endorsements On Instagram
The FTC has repeatedly said that advertisers must disclose relationships between themselves and endorsers that could affect the way consumers view the endorsement. The agency previously brought cases against Warner Bros. and Lord & Taylor for allegedly failing to do so.
Public Citizen and the other groups point to cosmetics and weight loss companies as major offenders. “The ‘influencers’ in this case are overwhelmingly reality TV stars idolized by young girls and teens, a demographic especially susceptible to advertising preying off of unrealistic standards of beauty,” the organizations say. Weight loss companies such as Fab Fit Fun and Flat Tummy Tea appear to employ dozens of celebrities and influencers to endorse their goods without any disclosure.”
Health care company Synergy CHC Corp acquired Flat Tummy Tea’s parent company last November.
The advocacy groups are urging the FTC to bring cases against the advertisers, and also warn the “prominent influencers” that they could be subject to enforcement actions in the future.