Since Twitter allows users only 140 characters, any celebrity endorsing a product via tweet must leave room for “#ad” or “#spon” – at least according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The FTC has long required advertisers and endorsers to disclose their material connections. Thus, when a celebrity has been paid to endorse a product or service and they fail to disclose that fact, both the advertiser and endorser can be liable.
The issue of celebrity endorsements on social media was first addressed by the FTC in its 2009 update to the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (“Guides”). Now, five years later, seemingly every celebrity has, at minimum, a Twitter account. So the need to hold them and advertisers accountable for potentially misleading endorsements on social media is even more significant today.