FTC To Crackdown ON Paid Celebrity Ads; Says Some Ads Aren’t Clear Enough

Written by. Chalise Macklin

Celebrities use their star power for many things including endorsing brands and products. You likely won’t scroll down your Instagram timeline without seeing celebrities promoting products such as: detox tea, hair vitamins, or alcohol.


Photo from Porsha Williams Instagram

DJ Khaled is constantly post about Ciroc Vodka and almost every female reality star swears that a “detox tea” is definitely worth buying. The Federal Trade Commission wants you to be careful of what you purchase. The commission is cracking down on deceptive marketing; particularly on social media platforms.

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Photo from DJ Khaled Instagram

The FTC feels celebrity endorsements of products are too sketchy, according to a Bloomberg report.  Most celebrities are being paid to endorse the products and they may not be actually using the product. They also don’t talk about if the products have side effects or risks, and they usually subtly indicate if the endorsement is sponsored. The Karadashian’s are paid to promote several products on their social media platforms and they usually use a hashtag to show sponsorship, which can easily be overlooked or not recognized as an actual sponsored endorsement.

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Photos taken from Instagram

“If consumers don’t read the words, then there is no effective disclosure, said FTC Practices Division Deputy Michael Ostheimer.

He also stated that most times the sponsor hashtag is mixed in with other things and can easily be skipped over.

Several business reports indicate the Federal Trade Commission wants more visibility. For example, adding the hashtag #ad at the beginning of a post and for video post should contain a verbal disclosure and be displayed on the screen. Snapchat has started implementing the process by including hashtag #paid, #ad, or #sponsored on top of their snaps, according to Adweek.  Letter A on a computer key isolated on white


The government will fight this practice, but will not go after the celebrities.

“We’ve been interested in deceptive endorsements for decades and this is a new way in which they are appearing.” We believe consumers put stock in endorsements and we want to make sure they are not being deceived,” said Ostheimer.

The government will target advertisers. The government will send out guidelines and give online webinars. For advertiser who don’t follow the rules will have legal action taken against them. 


In the future, before you purchase something because your favorite celebrity says its great do your own research of the product to make sure it lives up to the hype, and won’t cause you harm or be a waste of your money.

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