Is that post #sponsored?

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Have you ever seen a TV commercial with a celebrity or star athlete talking about how great a product is? You probably realized that they were paid for their endorsement, and it still may have influenced you to buy the product.

What if you saw that same celebrity post on social media about a particular sports drink, with the hashtag #recoverfaster? Would you think it was a paid promotion? It can be hard to tell.

Marketers have found new ways to promote products using social media and “influencers.”  Those are celebrities, star athletes, and other people with strong online followings, and their posts endorsing products may be advertising.

If influencers are given free products or being paid for endorsements, they should disclose that clearly. We recently sent out over 90 letters to influencers and marketers to educate them on their responsibilities and on how to disclose their relationship effectively. If you see a post labeled “Ad,” “Promotion,” or “Sponsored,” or with a hashtag like “#Ad,” the person posting it is giving you important information about their connection to a marketer.

It can be hard to tell from a post if an influencer has not disclosed that they were paid, or got free products. When using social media, posts that appear to be independent endorsements or reviews may actually be paid promotions, so it can be helpful to look at reviews from a variety of sources.

For more information, watch this video about online reviews and recommendations.


Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


everyone lies for money. This is just another way to lie. Do not trust advertisers, they have one thing in mind and it is not you but their share holders


I know a social influencer right away. If they have a lot of hashtags thier influencers. I don't like being influenced. I make up my own mind. Don't like ads either. I opt out.

Can you please get on this? The 90 letters you sent out today are just a teeny-tiny start. Perhaps you have some social media savvy college interns? You might also take a look at "Food Babe" as her facebook page, instagram, and website promote many brands with which she has financial partnerships, none of which are disclosed to her readers.

If you think an influencer is getting free products or being paid for endorsements, but isn't disclosing that clearly, please let the FTC know at

Money makes the world go round! That is why they lie. Companies need their shareholders and themselves happy, the way is money.

I wish people would realize that just because a celebrity advertises for a product or promotes it does not mean that the product is any better than anything else out on the market. Celebrities are also known as ordinary human beings. People need to learn to make up their own minds.

Just because someone, anyone, says something is good or bad it is still the responsibility of the one paying to do their homework. This also goes for charities, you are responsible for that money. If it is used for evil things it is still your fault. Wake up people......

I feel so stupid for falling for it and at the same time feeling so violated!! How do they say they they are Christian and lie through there teeth to get more money!!

I have never understood why people are so influenced by celebrity advertisements. The sole reason a celebrity is associated with a product is for the $$$, nothing else.

Celebrity endorsement says nothing about the product quality nor worth. I do not consider a celebrity endorsement neutral. I prefer an unbiased opinion or real world reviews by actual product reviewers.

How do we report profiles that a flagrantly abusing this?

If you see a post and you think an influencer has not disclosed that they were paid, or got free products you can report it to the FTC at The information you give goes into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

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