The Kardashians have a combined following of 325.2 million people. That’s more than sixteen times the population of Australia, and just over the population of the whole of the United States of America. There is absolutely no doubt that this family, known as Reality TV’s ‘Royal Family’, has incredible influence over the social media community; they are unquestionably social media kweens (see what I did there).
The Influencer market on social media is one of the largest advertising opportunities and investments companies make. With over 255 million dollars paid to influencers per month to promote products, I was only a matter of time before these sponsored posts stared to catch the eye of officials. As of now, the influencer market has largely remained unregulated due to it being fairly young in terms of advertising and social media tactics. However, the US Federal Trade Commission has started to crack down on posts, expressing the need for greater transparency to consumers.
With celebrities such as the Kardashians promoting products like gummy bear hair vitamins, fittea, and body creams, there is a huge opportunity to influence and promote products that could be potentially dangerous to consumers.
Currently, hashtags such as #Spon and #Ad are only being used, but the FTC wants greater labelling so that consumers understand that the post is just like any other ad on TV or a billboard.
“If consumers don’t read the words, then there is no effective disclosure,” Michael Ostheimer, a deputy in the FTC Ad Practices division, told Bloomberg.
As social media is still such an unregulated market, maybe it’s time that other countries along with the FTC, start to regulate and monitor safe social media use.