Lord & Taylor’s fashion faux posts
It’s fun to check out fashion trendsetters’ styles on social media. What’s the “must-have” item this spring? How did they accessorize a piece? And all that jazz.
You know what’s not so fun? A large national retailer like Lord & Taylor deceiving people.
According to the FTC’s recent complaint, Lord & Taylor paid 50 fashion trendsetters thousands of dollars to promote their Design Lab Paisley Asymmetrical Dress on Instagram as part of an ad campaign. What people who followed these fashion influencers on Instagram saw were photos and posts about how fabulous the dress was. What they didn’t see was any mention that Lord & Taylor had paid these people to promote it.
That wasn’t all, the FTC says. Lord & Taylor also paid Nylon, an online fashion magazine, to post an article and an Instagram post about the season’s “must-have” item — you guessed it, Lord & Taylor’s Design Lab dress. But again, there were no disclosures saying it was paid advertising. So while it looked like the magazine was giving an independent, fashion-forward recommendation about this dress, it was actually an ad in disguise. That’s deceptive, says the FTC.
Companies shouldn’t make it confusing for you to distinguish between objective opinions and paid ads. Moving forward, Lord & Taylor must make sure there’s a clear disclosure when they pay someone to endorse their products.
Why should it matter to you? Well, if someone was paid to promote a product, their opinion may have been influenced. Look to see if there’s a disclosure on social media posts and online articles. If it’s there, it should be easy to notice. Here are some examples of disclosures you might see: #ad, #paid ad, advertisement, paid advertisement, or some variation of these.
Check out our short video for more on evaluating online recommendations: