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FTC Announces New Review of Influencer Marketing Disclosures, and Potential Penalties

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Influencer marketing could be in for a shake-up, with the FTC calling for public comments on the need for improved disclosure in influencer arrangements and paid product endorsements on social media platforms.

As explained by the FTC:

“Facebook’s Instagram and Google’s YouTube are major vehicles for influencer marketing campaigns, with China-based TikTok also growing rapidly. Social media platforms promote and profit from influencer marketing in many ways. […] According to one estimate, companies spent $8 billion on advertising through social media influencers in 2019. Due to its perceived effectiveness, spending on influencer marketing is projected to increase to $15 billion by 2022. But, there is a harmful, dark side of this approach. Fake accounts, fake likes, fake followers, and fake reviews are now polluting the digital economy, making it difficult for families and small businesses looking for truthful information.”

With influencer endorsements on the rise, the FTC has suggested that there’s a need not only for more clear labeling on paid-for posts, but also harsher penalties to disincentivize ignorance or avoidance.

The FTC has used the cases of Lord & Taylor and Sunday Riley as examples.

In 2016, Lord & Taylor was found to have paid 50 fashion influencers to post images wearing a particular dress on Instagram, which resulted in the dress subsequently selling out. The influencer posts did not include any disclosure in regards to them being paid posts – but while the company was found to be in breach of the existing regulations, the FTC eventually settled the matter with no penalty.

The Sunday Riley case was a more high-profile example – Riley had been ordering her employees to write fake reviews on Sephora.com in order to boost sales, while also disliking negative reviews to lessen their impact. 

The FTC charged Sunday Riley and her company with deceiving the public about the material connections between the company and the reviewers […] but the FTC proposed another no-money, no-fault order.​”

Going forward, the FTC says, it will need to “seek tougher remedies” for companies which are violating the rules around paid endorsements.

The review could lead to a range of new restrictions and regulations in influencer marketing, which could impact both the companies undertaking campaigns and the influencers themselves. It’ll take some time for the FTC to make the next move in this respect, but with influencer marketing on the rise, it’s only logical that enforcement action will need to be ramped up in order to ensure that clear lines are drawn on what’s acceptable practice and what’s deception.

The limitation here is that laws implemented by the FTC in America won’t necessarily apply in other regions, which is why the FTC is seeking to impose specific regulations on the platforms themselves, as well as the companies involved. That, still, remains a murky area from a legal perspective, but definitely, most would agree that a clearer level of disclosure is needed, and meaningful penalties should be instituted for those found to be in violation.

Socialmediatoday.com

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Fed-up accountant 'shocked and disappointed' after his Facebook account is taken down again

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Fed-up accountant 'shocked and disappointed' after his Facebook account is taken down again

A fed-up accountant has spoken of his “disappointment” after his Facebook page was taken down AGAIN. Last July, we told how Suleiman Krayem feared …

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Twitter Tests New Quick Boost Option for Tweets

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Twitter Tests New Quick Boost Option for Tweets

Here’s the difficult thing with Twitter no longer having a comms department – now, there’s nowhere to go to confirm info about the app’s latest updates and features, and where each is available, etc.

Case in point – this week, Twitter appears to have launched a new in-stream boost option for tweets, which provides a quick and easy way to promote your tweet without having to launch a full ad campaign.

As you can see in these screenshots, posted by Jonah Manzano (and shared by Matt Navarra), the new boost option would be available direct from a tweet. You’d simply tap through, select a budget, and you would be able to boost your tweet then and there.

Which seems to be new, but also seems familiar.

It’s sort of like Twitter’s Quick Promote option, but an even more streamlined version, with new visuals and a new UI for boosting a tweet direct from the details screen.

Tweet boost

So it does seem like a new addition – but again, with no one at Twitter to ask, it’s hard to confirm detail about the option.

But from what we can tell, this is a new Twitter ad process, which could provide another way to set an objective, a budget, and basic targeting parameters to reach a broader audience in the app.

Which could be good, depending on performance, and there may well be some tweets that you just want to quickly boost and push out to more people, without launching a full campaign.

It could also be a good way for Twitter to bring in a few more ad dollars, and it could be worth experimenting with to see what result you get, based on the simplified launch process.

If it’s available to you. We’d ask Twitter where this is being made available, but we can’t. So maybe you’ll see it in the app, maybe not.

Thus is the enigma of Twitter 2.0.



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Twitter faces lawsuit by advisory firm for $1.9 million in unpaid bills

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Twitter faces lawsuit by advisory firm for $1.9 million in unpaid bills

US-based advisory firm Innisfree M&A Incorporated sued Twitter on Friday in New York State Supreme Court, seeking about $1.9 million compensation for what it says are unpaid bills. Reuters File Photo

New York: US-based advisory firm Innisfree M&A Incorporated sued Twitter on Friday in New York State Supreme Court, seeking about $1.9 million compensation for what it says are unpaid bills after it advised the social media company on its acquisition by Elon Musk last year.

“As of December 23, 2022, Twitter remains in default of its obligations to Innisfree under the agreement in an amount of not less than $1,902,788.03,” the lawsuit said.

Twitter and a lawyer for Innisfree did not respond to queries.

Elon Musk in October closed the $44 billion deal announced in April that year and took over microblogging platform Twitter.

In January 2023, Britain’s Crown Estate, an independent commercial business that manages the property portfolio belonging to the monarchy, said that it had begun court proceedings against Twitter over alleged unpaid rent on its London headquarters.

Advertising spending on Twitter Inc dropped by 71% in December, data from an advertising research firm showed, as top advertisers slashed their spending on the social-media platform after Musk’s takeover.

The banks that had provided $13 billion in financing last year for the Tesla chief executive’s acquisition of Twitter abandoned plans to sell the debt to investors because of uncertainty around the social media company’s fortunes and losses, according to media reports.

Recently, Twitter made its first interest payment on a loan that banks provided to help finance Musk’s purchase of the social media company last year.

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