Do you follow a bunch of big name celebrities on Instagram? There's a good chance you've been exposed to improperly labeled ads.
Mediakix recently evaluated the accounts of the top 50 most followed celebrities on Instagram over a 30-day period and found that the vast majority of ads they posted were in violation of the Federal Trade Commission's rules.
According to the FTC's guidelines, all sponsored posts on Instagram must include clear and conspicuous disclosure like #ad or #sponsored near the top of captions, so people viewing the post on a smartphone will see that it's an ad without having to press the "more" button (see below). Social media stars sometimes use hashtags like #sp or #partner to call out Instagram ads; other times, they'll just say "Thanks [Brand]" somewhere in the caption. Under the FTC's rules, these disclosures aren't sufficient.