Posts Tagged: Native Advertising

2016: The Year in Review

In case you missed it, here are some notable items from 2016 concerning sweepstakes, contests, and related promotional matters:

Influencers, Native Advertising, and Endorsements

2016 kicked off with reaction to the FTC’s new Native Advertising Rules which seek more transparency in sponsored stories/advertising.

In March, in its first enforcement action, the FTC cracked down on Lord & Taylor for paying “influencers” to attract social media attention to its Paisley Asymmetrical Dress.  The FTC issued a number of directives, including making the influencers aware of their participation, and making disclosure of the relationship unavoidable.

In May, the National Advertising Division (NAD), a self-regulatory industry, issued a decision concerning native advertising appearing in People.com under the “Stuff We Love” section.  The NAD determined that disclosure of the sponsorship must be made before you get to the stuff page.

In July, the FTC charged Warner Bros. with making inadequate disclosures in videos of influencers playing a new video game.  The FTC didn’t like that the sponsorship disclosure was in a collapsed box below the video and needed to be in a place where consumers will find it.

In October, in an effort to comply with the FTC Rule, YouTube introduced a new feature allowing visible text on a video for the first few seconds with the label stating “Includes paid promotion”

The take:  Consumers and the FTC don’t particularly like “influencers” or hidden ads, so be conspicuous. (more…)

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Is It Really “The Best [Insert Product] You Ever Bought?” Amazon Limits Incentivized Reviews

When shopping online, we all want to know what lawnmower/backscratcher/egg timer is the best. Once we’ve found an array of options, many of us go right to the online reviews to see how others liked the product. Caveat emptor be damned, Ralph from Bensonhurst just loved the Handy Housewife Helper, so I want one too. Little did we know that Ralph and his partner Ed were trying to unload 2,000 of these gadgets to the unsuspecting public.

To help bolster the legitimacy of online reviews, yesterday (October 3, 2016) Amazon announced an Update on Consumer Reviews explaining that it has updated its community guidelines to prohibit incentivized reviews unless they are facilitated through the Amazon Vine program. (more…)

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Do You Really Like Me? Native Advertising Enforcement is On the Rise

On July 11, 2016, the FTC announced that it had settled charges against Warner Bros. that it paid online influencers to post positive game play videos for its new a video game Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor (Ed. note: whooo). (Further Ed. Note: I will continue to use the term “influencer” which in the trade means someone who is able to influence purchases, not someone with the flu.)

This enforcement action comes on the heels of the National Advertising Division cracking down on Joyus’s “Dr. Brandt’s Needles No More Wrinkle Relaxing Cream” for native advertising in the “Stuff We Love” section of People Magazine’s website, which itself came on the heels of the FTC slapping Lord & Taylor for its native advertising campaign for its incredibly-popular Paisley Asymmetrical Dress. (Story: http://bit.ly/29V7P5B Dress: http://bit.ly/29Kqsel)

I will explain in more detail below the specifics in the Warner Bros. and Joyus matters, but for those of you who just like to cut to the chase, here’s what you need to know: (more…)

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Where’d You Get That Dress? FTC Dresses Down Lord & Taylor Native Advertising

This week the FTC settled charges against Lord & Taylor from alleged deceptive native advertising during its March 2015 Design Lab social media campaign. http://1.usa.gov/22h3sJ7 A big takeaway from this settlement is the FTC’s position that a company not only has to comply with the Native Advertising/Endorsement disclosures on its own social media platforms, but also has to ensure (by contract and monitoring) that its paid endorsers make the requisite disclosures on their own social media posts.

For its sales campaign, L&T focused on one product, the Paisley Asymmetrical Dress, to flood the Internets. The native advertising included:

  • L&T gave the Dress to 50 select fashion influencers (what a job!) who were paid $1,000-$4,000 to post pictures of themselves on Instagram wearing the Dress. By contract, L&T required them to use “@lordandtaylor” and “#DesignLab” in the posts. The contract did not require the influencers to disclose in their postings that they had been compensated by L&T. L&T pre-approved each of the posts to ensure use of the user designation and hashtag. None of the posts had any endorsement disclosure and L&T did not add any.
  • L&T contracted with the fashion magazine Nylon to run an article with a picture of the Dress, which L&T pre-approved. L&T did not require Nylon to disclose the relationship in the article.
  • L&T also contracted with Nylon to post a picture of the Dress on Nylon’s Instagram page; again, no disclosure requirement.

The campaign was a huge success; it reached 11.4 million Instagram users and produced over 300,000 brand engagements; and the Dress sold out in days. But while women everywhere said yes to the Dress, the FTC said bad to the ads. (more…)

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Did Peyton Manning Go One Pitch Too Far? (Native Advertising at the Super Bowl)

We all know Peyton Manning – he’s a professional pitcher: for Papa Johns, DirecTV, Buick, and Gatorade, among others. He’s also a professional quarterback. But did his post-Super Bowl pitches for Budweiser and Papa John’s go too far. As you may recall loyal followers of this blog, I wrote in December about the new FTC Native Advertising Rules. In particular, how the FTC was looking for transparency when an advertisement is slyly placed so as to appear to be part of the medium itself.

Take a look at Peyton’s hug with the Papa John himself and his comment about Budweiser made on national television immediately after the Bronco’s Super Bowl win. Papa John’s: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2vYkY4z4Z8. Budweiser at 1:17: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfNOvDZiieE (more…)

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FTC Addresses Nativ(ity) Advertising Just in Time For Xmas

On Tuesday, the FTC issued an Enforcement Policy Statement on Deceptively Formatted Advertisements — a/k/a “native advertising”, along with guidelines for businesses. Simply put, native advertising is generally advertising that takes the form and style of the platform in which it appears in order to promote a product. Think of a BuzzFeed quiz on “5 Random Questions To Determine What Type of Sandwich You’d Be if You Were Reincarnated” that just happens to be sponsored by Subway.

In general, the FTC wants to make sure that consumers know that advertisements and promotional messages are just that, and do not imply or suggest that they’re independent, impartial, or from a source other than the sponsoring advertiser. The FTC’s expressed watchword is transparency.

Best practices include: (more…)

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