CELEBRITY

FTC Engages in Futile Battle Over Social Media Disclosure

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Lex Jurgen - May 10, 2017

The Federal Trade Commission is the intersection point between the free marketplace and regulation to keep people from getting unwittingly fucked in the free marketplace. Like making male Speedo ads note in eight point font that this banana hammock in no way will help you get laid by a person of the opposite sex, though same sex, hell yes. The general premise being that Americans are too stupid to wade through Madison Avenue gloss and bullshit. Not a horrible premise. 

The FTC is desperately trying to bring some level of sunshine to social media stars shilling for products without revealing underlying financial arrangements. Social media is different than traditional forms of entertainment insomuch as the content and commercials are seamlessly intertwined. An idiot Disney star says she loves her new post-racial cornrows one day because she's dumb and that's what she thinks, the next day she says virtually the same thing but is being paid two hundred grand by a hair products company she's linking you to.

The FTC started sending out "influencer" letters to various merchandisers that routinely use celebrities on social media to casually mention how amazing their products are. The Commission noted social media posts by numerous celebrities ranging from Bella Thorne to Allen Iverson where it was entirely unclear they were paid pimps for products. The FTC included an attachment of guidelines on how to disclose paid endorsements in social media advertisements. Somewhat farcical since all of these companies have the guidelines and are choosing to completely disregard them. They've seen those pharmaceutical ads on TV where every product must inform you that it kills your dick and gives you unstoppable diarrhea, or death, which isn't a bad option when your dick doesn't work and you have unending diarrhea.

Eventually, the FTC will up the ante and begin suggesting fines. But this social media celebrity selling is a big business. Both for the advertisers desperate to reach kids who no longer watch TV or read magazines, and the celebrities who rake in the millions. Presume they will have sway with their local Congressman. Would Kim Kardashian fuck her representative to keep this gravy train rolling? That's largely rhetorical.

Practically speaking, the battle may be over little. Young women, who nature has made incredibly stupid so that we might have offspring, don't care if Puma's paying Bella Thorne to "rock the hell out of these tight Puma sneaks". They merely want their parents to buy them a pair of Pumas so they can achieve social status at school. Whereas reasonable smart people already understand that when Kristin Cavallari says some shitty face creme makes her skin feel super youthful, she's getting paid to do so. Maybe there's a silent middle ground of people constantly wavering as to whether or not Diddy really does "crazy dig" that upscale water in the selfie at the club. 

Whoring as a job category has long been settled. It's moving to every new medium ever invented. If you've got to have that certain purse, you're already inferior to the whores. Buy it, then refer to yourself as a victim. Demand hiring equality in the form of complete inequality and giving you the job. Keep the purse. You can win by losing. It's the new thing and everybody is doing it. The FTC is silent on this matter.

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