Beyoncé Brouhaha Over Airbnb, FTC
Beyoncé may be landing on the hot seat along with Airbnb. On Wednesday, Queen Bey was trending on Facebook for singing the praises of Airbnb on Monday in her post about where she stayed during the Super Bowl. At issue: Did the brand pay her for the endorsement? If so, FTC regulations dictate disclosure.
“Mary Engle, the FTC's associate director for advertising practices, couldn't comment on the possible situation with Beyoncé and Airbnb,” according to a Wednesday article in The Washington Post. “But generally speaking, she said, if someone is being compensated or paid for social media posts, that should be disclosed — even if it's with something as simple as including a #ad or #sponsored in the post.”
If Beyoncé did get paid and didn’t disclose it, Airbnb may endure FTC scrutiny, as would be the case with other questionable brand endorsements not involving disclosures, according to the Post.
She plays by the rules, comments Jess Toothman, a campaign leader at Collective Bias, a “shopper social media platform that connects brands and retailers to consumers through authentic influencer-generated content.”
Perhaps Beyoncé is trying to prove she can outpace Rihanna as an influencer.
“A celebrity is considered to be a strong endorsement opportunity for a brand if the fans of that celebrity are at least 50 percent more likely to use the brand,” reads the Jan. 13 press release about the “BrandLink” database, as quoted in a January Target Marketing article. “... Rihanna’s index score of 367 means that she has almost 3.7 times as many strong brand endorsement opportunities as the average big-name celebrity.”
(Beyoncé boosted Red Lobster sales 33 percent year-over-year during the Super Bowl with an NSFW lyric, seen here in her video and in a Tuesday article burning the brand for lame tweets: "3 Lessons on How Not to Pull a Red Lobster If Beyoncé Boosts Your Brand." Hat tip to Hannah Abrams, senior content editor with Promo Marketing.)
This video is NOT SUITABLE FOR WORK
As for Beyonce’s fans? For the most part, they’re not talking about the greatness of Airbnb. Some are saying the criticism is a conspiracy to take away from her Super Bowl performance, while others are commenting on how gross it is that her shoes are on the couch.
“I doubt she wears shoes twice ... They're probably clean,” responds Ashley Celina.
Do marketers reading this regularly have endorsements disclosed as ads?
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Related story: Rihanna Better Than Beyoncé for Brands