DTNS 2827 – Disclaimer: Tom is not sponsored by RC

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comThe FTC continues its campaign to get social influencers to disclose ads. Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt talk about what consumers really need to know about it.


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4 thoughts on “DTNS 2827 – Disclaimer: Tom is not sponsored by RC

  1. I find the FTC cracking down on social media “influencers” using undisclosed sponsored content on social media a little disingenuous.

    Over the years, I’ve heard several first-hand accounts of music, television, and film celebrities that have been getting paid to VERY subtly endorse products, with no disclosure and not a peep from the FTC. This has been going on for decades.

    That pic of a celeb’s trashed hotel room and passed-out party goers? It was staged (lighting, hair, make-up) and shot by the celeb’s media/messaging team, and paid for by the company whose label is clearly visible on the turned-over champagne bottle you can’t afford. In truth, the musician went to bed early because they were tired from the show, they need to rest their voice for tomorrow’s performance a six-hour bus ride away, and there may have been something “off” about that cheese dip on the craft services table.

    The time the actor talked about Dorito-breath on that late night talk show? Not only paid for, but the host was asked to throw a softball about food specifically so the actor could mention the product. Aside from a very small SAG-AFTRA union-mandated fee, celebs do not get paid to appear on talk shows despite it being work for them. So they get endorsement deals and the hosts help out.

    Nearly every time a celebrity mentions any brand at all, or is associated with a photo that also has a visible brand in it, that celebrity got paid for it.

    1. All fair points. What the FTC said it is targeting is endorsements. When a blogger says explicitly. “I really like this product” but doesn’t reveal payment is involved. The placements you mention above do not involve endorsements. Should they also be disclosed? Possibly. But it is a separate kind of sponsorship than paid endorsements.

  2. Hello All,
    I think a lot of responsibility lies with the content creator just as much as the sponsors. If somebody has a big reputation and their opinion is respected they not only should be careful who they allow to sponsor them but how they come across.
    I am reminded of how Leo at twit went all gung ho on the new electric Ford Focus, it was going to be his next car, Ford had already installed the charging ports in his Garage and then when Ford ended it’s campaign with twit everything went quiet, did Leo get his Focus, did Ford take back their charging port from his garage. I had lot’s of respect for Leo and valued his opinion and the answers that he gave when I sent him questions, and still have lot’s respect for him as a podcaster and as a founder of the industry, I continue to listen to his shows, but I have doubts for any of the products that he advertises. He clearly states that any particular product is a sponsor and I am completely ok with that, but don’t make claims or statements that are not true in order to give a product a better endorsement.
    After saying all that if Leo enjoyed his Focus electric car that he purchased then I stand corrected. Also, I do not have any axe to grind, I am just using Leo as an example for my point.
    Thanks, the Geeky Brit

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