FTC tells ‘influencers’ to quit trying to hide the fact that they’re shilling for brands

The Federal Trade Commission has put dozens of so-called influencers on notice for failing to adequately document the fact that their Instagram and such like posts are in fact thinly veiled ads for which the posters are being generously compensated.

The agency sent out more than 90 letters to “celebrities, athletes, and other influencers” reminding them to “clearly and conspicuously disclose” that posts are sponsored, or that a company otherwise supports them.

And no cute stuff either, the FTC says in the letters.

For example, no putting your sponsor message below the “more” button, where no one will see it. And no disguising it ambiguously as “thanks Nike,” as if Nike was just cool enough to let you use their corporate getaway beach house because you asked nicely. And! No burying the disclosure in obscure terminology, like #sp or #partner, deep in the sea of hashtags.

Instagram should probably just add a special filter just for sponsored posts at this point.