Celebrities, in addition to using Twitter to mock Justin Bieber’s hat, also tend to use it to promote products and services they are paid to promote. Anyone who follows Kim Kardashian and/or Drew Brees knows this all too well. With that said, the FTC may have just just slammed the brakes on celebrity twitdorsements.
In an unintentionally hilarious document following the false celebrity Juli Stars, the FTC lays out the new rules for plugging something in 140 characters:
- You have to state, up front, that it’s a paid advertisement.
- You have to make clear what the typical results of the product happen to be.
- The FTC flatly says you shouldn’t be coy or subtle about this.
While it’s not really the FTC’s intent to completely torpedo paid tweets, that’s basically what they’re doing. 140 characters isn’t really enough to include all the information that the law requires, and while you can include a hyperlink, that reduces the effectiveness of the celebrity endorsement because, well, it seems less sincere. Keep in mind these are big bucks: Celebrities can get up to $10,000 a pop for a plug.
On the other hand, if it keeps Snoop Lion away promoting family minivans and makes him compose more raps about Tekken, that can only make the world a much better place.