FTC warns marketers about ‘deceptive’ Twitter campaigns

Employees who tweet about their agencies’ campaigns without disclosing their relationships to brands could be inviting trouble.

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In a major move that should get the attention of anyone working in social media marketing, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is cracking down on deceptive Twitter campaigns.

The FTC took note of a 2012 Sony PlayStation Vita campaign from the gaming console’s then-agency, Deutsch LA. The campaign asked people to use the hashtag #GameChanger. The problem, according to FTC allegations, was that Deutsch LA employees tweeted with the hashtags from their personal accounts without disclosing their relationship with the brand (after they were encouraged to do this via company-wide email).

The FTC has settled with Deutsch LA, but the agency hasn’t admitted fault, saying instead that it wanted to avoid going to court.

This action from the FTC is unprecedented in the social media space. From The Wall Street Journal:

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