advertising, non-traditional advertising, sponsorship, FTC, consumer protection, endorse, celebrity endorsements, right of publicity, disclosure


Advertisers have used the rise of reality television, social media, and the public's fascination with celebrities to connect with consumers in new and non-traditional ways. With these new techniques come new concerns over consumer protection. When an advertisement does not look like an advertisement, consumers can easily be misled. In 2009, the FTC implemented a set of Guides which were intended to clarify and interpret the regulations enforced by the FTC, and advise the public on how to conduct affairs regarding sponsorship disclosure, specifically in new media. As the note describes, the Guides are insufficient as applied to non-traditional advertising techniques, particularly when involving celebrities. The note then proposes a new standard requiring clearer disclosures and a distinction between a celebrity's "personal" and "public" spheres when considering the necessity of a disclosure.