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: