Celebrities and influencers promote products all the time. But for some stuff, they need to disclose some things... like what they are getting paid for it.
For most stuff, if you are posting a message on Instagram, TikTok or other social media platforms, all you need to do is end your message with three simple letters/symbols: #Ad.
But when it comes to promoting a specific publicly traded company's stock, you’ll need to dig deeper. You have to disclose how much you're getting paid.
Kim Kardashian didn’t do this in a recent Instagram post and the Securities and Exchange Commission put the hammer down: A fine of $1.26 million. No worries here, according to the analysts -- Kardashian is worth around $1 billion.
Kardashian did the half-correct thing initially: She disclosed the name of the company -- EthereumMax -- and the #Ad. But she didn’t include a $250,000 number, which is what she got paid by the cryptocurrency company.
When it comes to this disclosure -- for products, services, and financial securities -- it would be good to see financial numbers for all kinds of media platforms, including TV advertising.
If LeBron James is doing an ad for AT&T, maybe telling the public what he got paid isn’t a bad idea.
We already know the bigger picture -- especially for most major professional athletes. James’ most recent Los Angeles Lakers salary details show he is in the middle of a two-year, $97.1 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers -- making him the highest-paid player in NBA history, according to reports.
And if we knew he also got, say, $1 million or $5 million for doing a current AT&T commercial, what would be the reaction? Perhaps a shrug of the shoulders.
For some the price of being famous, I guess, has an actual price.
There are different degrees of disclosure, for sure. Federal regulators say it's all about protecting the public when it comes to financial securities -- especially those with not much of a track record.
But why shouldn't there be some deeper transparency?
For many TV commercials we have specific disclosures when it comes to medications advertised on TV -- side effects, precautions, and the like. And political advertising disclosures on TV have been around for some time.
In the future we should hope TV advertisers -- who are already calling for all kinds of transparency with regard to many TV networks and streaming platforms -- should reveal more. Maybe how much you paid for that late-afternoon 30-second commercial in a NFL game on the Fox Television Network? $300,000? Or $350,000?
Just put it at the bottom of the screen, please.
You see, if you as a TV marketer continue to dig into securing ever more consumer data, through your first-party data resources -- edging into or moving into privacy territory -- you also need to reveal more about the deals you make.
You trust us, no?