Have you ever been scrolling through your favorite Teen Mom cast member’s Instagram feed only to be hit with an obvious advertisement for a product that’s sponsoring them? Whether it’s Flat Tummy tea, waist trainers, or teeth whiteners, seeing stars’ Instagram feeds riddled with advertisements has become just another part of browsing social media. Well, maybe not anymore.
As part of the Federal Trade Commission’s recent crackdown, numerous celebrities have received warning letters about their advertising that require them to respond. Twenty-one stars received such letters, and among them were our very own Chelsea Houska and Farrah Abraham.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has noticed how many stars have begun using their social media as ways to receive money from sponsorships and advertisements. They’ve made some strides in combatting this, and you’ve probably noticed how now, when Kail posts about teeth whitening or Jenelle opens up about focus pills, they’re normally preceded by “#ad.”
But the FTC is taking another step, and they’ve hit 21 different celebrities with warning letters that require responses for not adhering to specific guidelines. They noticed that many stars were posting sponsored posts for products without informing their followers that they were receiving compensation for plugging certain products. In addition to having to include “#ad” in a post, you also have to inform followers if you were given free gifts from a brand or if you’re endorsed by the brand itself.
Even though pretty much all of the Teen Mom cast members have plugged products at one time or another, it looks like two of them in particular haven’t been following the FTC’s guidelines about proper disclosure. Among big names like Vanessa Hudgens and Lindsay Lohan, it looks like our very own Chelsea Houska and Farrah Abraham have been violating the guidelines.
It should go without saying that fans had a thing or two to say about this update. Reddit user realityno wrote, “Finally! I hope the rest of the mom’s get warned and they all get fined for shilling products and pyramid schemes.” ThunderThighmaster agreed, “I’m actually pretty excited to see this. I think it’s scary that some of these influencers market pyramid schemes to young impressionable people. A lot of young people take the celebrities at face value.”
User bouquetofpencils wrote, ‘I’m imagining the phone call Chelsea placed to Randy when she got her letter. ‘DAD.’ ‘What?’ ‘Oh my god I am so OVER THIS.’” User keatonpotat0es continued the dialogue, “‘I got this freaking LETTUR and I don’t even know what it means!’
‘What’s it say?’
‘It says “You are required to indicate which posts are sponsored.”
‘It means you have to indicate which posts are sponsored.’
‘With like, hashtags?’
‘UGH. Okay bye.’”
Others were ready to jump on the chance to make fun of Farrah, like user ActingNormal, who wrote, “Why did they have to identify ‘Farrah (Teen Mom 2)’? Don’t they know she is the world’s most famous person, who was ever famous, in all 24 states including France and Mexico? I mean, she’s been kicked outta nicer places than Instagram! /s.”
User veryfancyrats chimed in, “Farrah is at the top of the list! Because she’s America’s top female celebrity in the nation! And Chelsea is like halfway down the list. That just made Farrah’s year.”
Read more about the FTC’s letters here.
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