That is especially the case when the target markets are under-35. After all, they live in social media. And, it's really the only way with Generation Z.
The influencer could be a big name only in social media. Yes, it's possible to be famous only as social media player.
But it's all the better if the influencers are celebrities in themselves - like the members of the Kardashian/Jenner clan. No surprise, that tribe has been highly visible with X or Y product or service. This can be a well-compensated venture.
The problem, though, Kathryn Rubino reports on Abovethelaw, is that those Kardashian/Jenner promotions are not labeled as such. Yet, each post aka "posing" can pay $300,000 to the tribe.
The folks in Truth in Advertising have sprung into action. They are pushing back on this. They want the influencer type of advertising explicitly labeled as such. However, they lack the power to prosecute. That could happen with the FTC.
As we know with the recent situations with alleged mobile cramming, the FTC doesn't fool around in investigations and then opening the door to costly settlements. No, the miscreants don't have to admit guilt. But they do have to pony up big money. Here's what the FTC officially stated about its interaction with alleged mobile crammer, Andrew Bachman.
Back in the days of Don Draper from "Mad Men," no one anticipated the blurred line between the simple public use of a product and service and the highly-staged version of that in social media which pays mega bucks. There was no ambiguity about what was advertising.
The stealth stuff was more done by the public relations pros who would typically plant young girls to scream at the concert of a new band. That would be captured by the panning camera.
Now, one has to wonder who isn't playing or trying to play the stealth game. Sometimes it's not all that stealth.
Daily, there are help-wanted ads for social media content-providers who regularly contribute to brandname media sites, establishment and social. Those with media ties will be paid for inserting a link about X or Y.
Sometimes the wording of the ad is cautious. Sometimes it's not. Truth in Advertising needs to assign some mystery shoppers to answer those help-wanted. Then blow up that game with an expose. Sponsored content - every type of it - must be labeled as such.