Instagram Adds Ads, FTC Crackdown | [a]listdaily Weekly

Instagram Adds Ads, FTC Crackdown | [a]listdaily Weekly


Instagram is changing how its feed works. Instead of showing users the most recent posts in their network the photo-sharing
app says it will now be favoring “relevance” over timeliness. “Relevance to
whom,” you might ask? Advertisers. That’s right, Facebook-owned Instagram will now be swamping your customers’ feeds with ads. Why? Because micro-interaction-hungry, commerce-horny robots know your customers better than they know
themselves. Not surprisingly, users are furious, but it’s okay, because it already happened to us on Facebook, so we should all be used to it by now. Besides, you can #ThrowUpInYourMouth all you want, but Instagram is not backing
down. How can they be so brazen?! Well, compared to other platforms, Instagram’s
engagement remains so high that they can afford to start profiting off the
degraded user experience. But what does this new feed mean for brands? Well, it used to be free, but since Instagram has become a pay-to-play platform, your presence ON it now costs money.
Good news for users though: in response to their critics, Instagram MAY at some point bring back the old feed as an option. That’s what Facebook did—and then they buried it in an almost impossible-to-find locations. So don’t worry, IG fans, your opportunity to opt out may be coming soon to a hidden pixel near you.
The Federal Trade Commission has gone after Lord & Taylor for non-disclosure
in an ad campaign. Brands, beware: there are new guidelines on influencer
marketing and the FTC wants you to know they are enforcing them. The commission
even launched an awareness campaign in December to spread the word, but it’s
apparently not working. According to AdWeek, 70% of publishers are currently not compliant with the new rules. Perhaps the FTC’s campaign would go better if they hired an influencer to spread awareness of influencer
disclosure guidelines with- full disclosure, of course. Instead though, the FTC is stepping it up by loudly promoting this first batch of settlements to show
marketers they’re super-duper-serious. Lord & Taylor campaign in question
paid 50 influencers to post photos of themselves wearing this dress. It was
hugely successful, reaching 11.4 million Instagram users and driving 320,000
engagements equaled over 1.4 million dollars and earned media value and Lord & Taylor
sold out of the dress that weekend. The only problem? It wasn’t clear enough that
these influencer posts were ads. Lord & Taylor asked the influencers to hashtag
the clothing line, “Design Lab,” as well as the L&T account in their posts, and they thought that would be disclosure enough, but it is not. So, listen up, brands after compensating an influencer for influencing their influences on your behalf, just label it correctly. Doing so is free
and getting fined by the FTC is not. Brave Software, one of the makers of widely used ad-blocking tools, has just received a cease-and-desist letter signed by seventeen publishers, including the New York Times and the Washington Post. The letter went something like: “Hey! We got sponsors trying to assault our digital readership
with ads here. Your software is blocking them and that keeps US from making that scrilla. Stop it, or we’ll legally punch you in your ad-blocking face.” Publishers from all corners hate ad blocking. On the other
hand, consumers hate online ads. In the poetic words of one Reuters survey participant, “Online ads are obtrusive, obnoxious, annoying.” Turns out, consumers want better ads. Instead of attacking the ad blockers, publishers should start targeting the Medieval scourge of of interruptive ad-spewing that makes us all want to go take a shower. Fortunately, the industry IS slowly waking up to that sentiment and marketers are beginning to shift their sights to the promised land of native advertising. So, are marketers finally
getting the message? Well, given that banner ad sales are expected to increase from around $13 billion this year to over $17 billion dollars in 2019, I think for now, the answer is…no.

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