Consumer News

Ad or Not? Coke and Ms. Gomez

This most-liked Instagram post of all time finally fesses up to what it really is.


Consumer News

Ad or Not? Coke and Ms. Gomez

Coca Cola 1 Selena

#You’re the Spark.

Indeed she is. With this Instagram post, Selena Gomez achieved the most-liked Instagram post ever. Ever. With 5.5 million likes and counting since first posting in June, the singer pushed other celebs such as Kendall Jenner and Justin Bieber aside to grab the throne. Gomez has more than 80 million followers, so no doubt the likes will continue to roll in.

Note Coke’s own Instagram post welcoming Gomez to its #ShareaCoke campaign and urging fans to follow Coke on Snapchat for more glimpses of the star. Selena Coca Cola Ad 3

And then there’s this post from Coke welcoming the singer to its hometown (and the Atlanta headquarters where she visited).

Coca Cola 1 Coca Cola

With all this sharing and sparking and shoutouts going on there’s a vital piece of information noticed was missing: clear and unambiguous language that this is an ad.

The FTC’s endorsement guidelines, which were updated in May 2015 to address social media advertising disclosures, state that if someone is paid to promote a product or has a material connection with a company, they must disclose that relationship since it could affect a consumer’s opinion about the product. Best place to put the disclosure? Right at the beginning of the post. (See our Kardashian post here.) reached out to Coke to inquire why a disclosure isn’t on that most-liked Gomez Instagram post ever. We’ll update this post when we hear back with a response. (UPDATE 9/20/16: We finally heard back, sort of. We noticed that Gomez’s post now discloses #ad — at the end of her comment.)


Remember celebs, if you are compensated to post just #ad it. Rinse and repeat for each post.

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