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New transparency measures introduced for ‘influencers’ following FTC CSGO Lotto investigation

New transparency measures introduced for ‘influencers’ following FTC CSGO Lotto investigation

YouTubers, streamers and other influencers now have new guidelines for dealing with disclosure following an FTC investigation.

The Federal Trade Commission in America has been looking into the CSGO Lotto scandal from 2016, in which YouTubers Trevor ‘TmarTn’ Martin and Thomas ‘Syndicate’ Cassell were promoting a gambling site on their channels that they themselves owned without disclosing this fact.

The FTC investigation also indicates that the duo paid between $2,500 and $55,000 to other influencers in order to promote this site. 

Both Martin and Cassell have escaped a fine for this transgression, however. 

This is the first time that the FTC has investigated marketing by social media influencers, and sets precedent for future cases. 

Furthermore, the organisation has sent ‘educational letters’ to 21 Instagram influencers affected, highlighting that any ‘material connection’ – i.e. money changing hands – to marketers must be “clearly and conspicuously disclosed”, unless that relationship is made abundantly clear.

Said disclosure must be ‘hard to miss’. On image-focused platforms like Snapchat, influencers must superimpose disclosures over the pictures.

Here is a handy chart the FTC has put together:

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site PCGamesInsider.biz. In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for GamesIndustry.biz, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.

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