FTC Cracks Down on Sponsored Content

by Matthew McCaffrey

The Federal Trade Commission has recently been investigating sponsorships between video game developers and popular internet personalities known as “influencers.” The parties under investigation include sponsors like Warner Bros. as well as influencers like Felix Kjellberg—better known by his online moniker PewDiePie—creator of what is to date the most subscribed-to channel on YouTube.

The FTC alleges that developers paid influencers to post positive gameplay videos on sites like YouTube, and furthermore, that they discouraged content creators from revealing these sponsorships to the public. According to the FTC, viewers (as consumers) were deceived by what were essentially advertising campaigns masquerading as independent and objective opinions.

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