In the lead-up to New Year’s, during which ESPN aired a seemingly endless string of college football bowl games, both Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen appeared to have a hunger for the same brand of mega-chain pizza:
What are the odds of both sportscasters feeling so overwhelmed by a need for Domino’s that they needed to mention it on Twitter within 24 hours of each other? Pretty slim, thought the folks at Deadspin, who checked with ESPN.
Lo and behold, the network confirmed that these Tweets were indeed bought and paid for by Domino’s — they just happened to forget to mark the Tweets as advertisements, as required by the FTC Act.
Celebrities are learning that if they get paid to shill a product on their social media channels, they are going to be held to the same standards as traditional ads.
Earlier this year, Kim Kardashian was caught by the FDA blabbing about a prescription morning sickness medication without (A) revealing that it was a paid endorsement, and (B) providing any of the required disclosures about the drug’s effects. She ultimately had to post a lengthy mea culpa on Instagram with the information she’d omitted.