But one of the most notable disclosures from the 43-page document is the fact that hundreds of models and online personalities, such as reality star Kendall Jenner and model Emily Ratajkowski, were given free flights, accommodation and tickets in exchange for promoting the event to fans. As Bilton noted, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has rules in place requiring that “influencers” who share promotional materials “clearly and conspicuously disclose their relationships to brands”.
This has always been one of the dangers of social media “influencers”, that they may be trading in perks for posts that are nothing more than commercials, all the while portraying themselves as simply being a “fan” of said product. We’ve seen it with celebs, but we’ve had our own experiences in this arena on the technology side too. How many posts raving about a company or product have been written by people given first-class accommodations and speakers fees by those same companies? How much of a quid pro quo was there? We may never know, but it pays to be wary of what people say on social media who don’t disclose their relationship with a company.
Then again, when it so obviously blows up in your face the way this did, maybe that will eliminate any influence they had in the first place.
That’s why I’ve never tried to make money blogging. It’s not about the money or the perks for me, it’s about the truth. If someone ever did give me something, I’d tell you up front. You know, like the law says I’m supposed to! 😉