TINA.org investigated Warner Brothers’s use of online influencers to promote video games and found that the company was violating an FTC Order that barred it from misrepresenting sponsored content as the objective, independent opinions of gamers including, by way of example, a YouTube video promoting Shadow of Mordor created and posted by YouTube’s top influencer “PewDiePie,” which continued to lack a clear and conspicuous disclosure.
October 30, 2017: TINA.org sends complaint letter to FTC alerting it to Warner Bros.’s violation of the 2016 Order, and urging it to reopen its investigation into the company’s use of influencer marketing and take appropriate enforcement action.
November 17, 2016: The FTC’s action against Warner Brothers results in an FTC Order that bars Warner Brothers from misrepresenting that sponsored content, including gameplay videos, are the objective, independent opinions of video game enthusiasts or influencers. The Order also requires Warner Brothers to clearly and conspicuously disclose the material connection between the company and the influencers, and to ensure that its influencers do the same.
November 2016: The FTC files an administrative complaint against Warner Brothers Home Entertainment for its use of online “influencers” to promote the video game Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor without adequately disclosing that Warner Bros. paid the influencers.
Warner Bros., PewDiePie Not Game to Disclose Influencer Marketing
TINA.org alerts FTC to Warner Bros.’s violation of a consent order regarding influencer posts.
TINA.org’s Social Media Influencers Actions
A review of TINA.org’s work exposing deceptive marketing tactics by social media influencers.
Influencers Defy FTC Rules on Disclosure Despite Warnings
TINA.org finds 95 percent of social media influencers previously put on notice by the FTC breaking the law.
Ad or Not? James Charles and Various Beauty Brands
Influencer gets FTC rules on disclosure wrong.
Warner Brothers & PewDiePie Not Game to Disclose Influencer Marketing
MADISON, CONN. Oct. 31, 2017 –Last November Warner Bros. entered into a final consent order with the FTC to settle charges related to a 2014 influencer marketing campaign for its Lord of…
FTC Social Media Actions
See the FTC’s track record when it comes to social media influencer cases.
FTC Reminder: Influencers Must Divulge Ads
Action comes after consumer groups alert agency to more than 100 posts by celebs.
Grading the BBB: Ratings after FTC Actions
TINA.org investigation finds more than a dozen companies in good standing with the BBB following an FTC action.
Lord of the Influencers
FTC casts shadow on Warner Brothers’ Mordor video game marketing.