Social Media Marketing Maven: Chrissy Teigen

picture of social media icons on phone to accompany post about Chrissy Teigen's social media marketing prowessWhen she’s not lip sync battling, Chrissy Teigen apparently ponders social media marketing mysteries! Recently, the brand influencer Twitter-shared some musings about FTC advertising compliance.

We learned:

  • Chrissy Teigen is serious about her online marketing work and keeps up-to-date with FTC regulations. We say, “Good on her!” Every influencer should familiarize themselves with Federal Trade Commission compliance standards.
  • Chrissy collaborates with brands to draft promotional tweets.
  • Teigen, (like many marketers), doesn’t quite understand why some tea and smoothie social media influencers seem allergic to #ad or #spon promotional hashtags, which are, technically, required.

The FTC’s social media marketing rules

  • Promotional Hashtags: Influencers, marketers, and brands are expected to use #ad, #spon, #sponsor, or #paid in promotional tweets, ‘grams, and other social media posts.
  • Disclose Material Relationships: Read the Dot Com Disclosures to determine the necessary promotional declarations for your product. Don’t want to wade through an FTC regulatory document? Click here for the most important points.
  • Be Mindful of Promotional Language: Don’t lie about product benefits; don’t fib about ingredients; don’t rely on questionable scientific studies to support claims. The FTC has — and will continue to — sue over these types of infractions.

Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram promotions are ubiquitous, but online marketing regulations are still nascent. Please don’t misunderstand the assertion. Regulations DO exist; brands risk sizable fines for shirking guidelines. And even though the FTC has earned a reputation for, shall we say, mutable justice… consistency has, over the past year, quietly snuck its way into the investigation equation.

Want to evade the FTC’s prying eyes?  Clean up your marketing compliance house.

Click here to read about other digital promotional legalities. Head this way to speak with someone who can help solve your social media marketing challenges.

Jerk.com Legal Matters: Personal Review Website Under FTC Investigation

review website law
Jerk.com may be facing FTC censure.

Review Websites Are An Internet Staple

RipOffReport, Yelp and other niche market review sites are Internet staples. And while review websites can sometimes present a problem for businesses, they can also serve as great advertising tool. Sure, a surly customer could sully your reputation for a stint, but more often than not, happy customers share glowing testimonials, which helps boost business.

A New Type Of Online Review Site (It’s Now Getting Personal)

At around the time social media started to take hold, a new type of “review site” grew in popularity. People got bored with rating products and services. So, they gravitated to new types of review sites – ones where users “reviewed” each other. In fact, if you believe Aaron Sorkin’s Facebook creation myth, a crude version of a “Hot or Not” site was the genesis of Zuckerburg’s now ubiquitous online hangout.

Jerk.com 101

Jerk.com is one of the more popular “personal review websites” around. It features user-generated content and ranking functionalities. Some believe the platform also features questionable “automated content.” Jerk.com’s rules about who can post a profile are, shall we say, less than strict. As such, it’s easy for users to create unflattering pages about their least favorite people.

In their nascent days, Jerk.com loved free speech so much that, according to Gene Quinn, the company allegedly refused to remove material about a 10-year-old target. In fact, again according to Quinn, in the past, Jerk.com was extremely reluctant to remove any material.

But like Internet laws, Jerk.com has evolved. Most notably, the social media site says they now adhere to DMCA takedown procedures. Moreover, “Remove” is the second item on their website menu – which, if clicked, takes you to a pay for removal portal of which Al Capone would be proud.

Jerk.com Lawsuits & Detractors

As you’d imagine, since its inception, Jerk.com has had its fair share of detractors. But what recently caught officials’ attention were allegations that Jerk, LLC wasn’t following COPPA regulations. COPPA – The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act – is a strict law that aims to safeguard the personally identifiable information of all citizens aged 13 and under. COPPA violation fees are steep and the FTC is always on the hunt for violators.

After the FTC investigation was underway, material surfaced which raised the question: was COPPA the only issue of concern, or did Jerk.com’s profile generation methods also skirt the law?

This April, the FTC denied Jerk, LLC’s motion to quash a civil investigative demand which focused on the company’s site, Jerk.com. As a result, the FTC will continue to investigate the website’s content generation methods as they relate to the PII of minors and profile creation.

Are you dealing with an online defamation issue? A COPPA issue? If yes, get in touch. Kelly Warner is a full service defamation and Internet law legal practice. We’ve helped many others and can do the same for you.