|Youtube, an Online Video-Sharing Platform (imcgroupo.com)|
Recently, certain Youtube influencers have come under fire for producing content ridden with undisclosed sponsorships. The issue first came to light on July 21st when Youtuber Cham PD exposed the activities that were quite regularly taking place behind the scenes. Although influencers involved in the scandal have since released public statements apologizing for their wrongdoings, this did not prevent their subscriber counts from waning. Many fans have been unable to hide feelings of disappointment towards their favorite influencers due to the strong belief they held about these influencers’ content being authentic and trustworthy, and this wave of dismay is also negatively affecting influencers that were non-complicit in hiding advertisements within their content. While this ordeal has helped open the public’s eyes to the deceptive nature of some social media influencers, hidden advertisements are not a trend of the past. In 2019, the Korea Consumer Agency (KCA) reported that out of 582 sponsored posts compiled from 60 influencer accounts, a total of 408 – 71.1% – kept information about product placements either ambiguous or completely undisclosed. This goes against the guidelines of the Fair Trade Commission (FTC), and as consumers have been voicing their concerns regarding this issue, the FTC has decided to take matters into their hands and amend the aforementioned guidelines in order to overcome possible loopholes. Starting August 1st, through a law enacted by the FTC, registering sponsored Youtube videos as advertisements will be mandatory.
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