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.
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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.