logo
logo
logo
logo
William Figueroa 2018-06-01
img

Thousands of activists delivered an open letter to Amazon on Wednesday urging the company to free its contractors from forced arbitration.

When an employee or contractor of a US company is forced into arbitration, they waive their right to have their dispute heard in court.

They also often forfeit their right to participate in a class-action lawsuit.

Instead, individual claims are typically settled by a third party, and the proceedings and agreements are often kept secret.

Wednesday’s letter to Amazon’s board of directors requests that the company use its shareholder meeting today to address and eliminate arbitration clauses.

“As a service that is used by millions of people worldwide, Amazon has the power to influence other companies with its actions,” the letter, created by Public Citizen, a US nonprofit dedicated to advocating for the public interest and against corporate interests, states.

collect
0
William Franklin 2017-04-20
img

Celebrities who push products on Instagram without disclosing that they got paid to do so got a friendly letter from the FTC this week.The Federal Trade Commission asked the “influencers” to more clearly and conspicuously label their posts as paid placements, saying that using hashtags isn’t enough because “readers may just skip over them.”The FTC would not name names “at this time,” but said it sent the letters because of complaints from consumer advocacy group Public Citizen.

In September and November, Public Citizen sent complaints to the FTC about undisclosed paid product endorsements by Warriors stars Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, pop star Rihanna, some Kardashians — they’re everywhere — and more.Wednesday, the FTC said it sent more than 90 letters to influencers, urging them to check themselves — and the agency’s endorsement guides.

The agency said it was the first time “that FTC staff has reached out directly to educate social media influencers themselves.”In its communications with the FTC, Public Citizen also charged that “companies are preying off of the trust and relatability of smaller-level influencers” who often get free products from companies and don’t disclose that they are paid endorsements.Other celebrities mentioned in Public Citizen’s complaints include Serena Williams, LeBron James, Jennifer Lopez, Anne Hathaway and Ryan Reynolds.What are the consequences if the influencers don’t shape up?According to the FTC’s endorsement guides: “Although there are no fines for violations of the FTC Act, law enforcement actions can result in orders requiring the defendants in the case to give up money they received from their violations.”Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, said in a statement Wednesday that the FTC’s letters validate the group’s concerns, but that they’re just a first step.“Instagram has become a Wild West of disguised advertising, targeting young people and especially young women,” Weissman said.

“That’s not going to change unless the FTC makes clear that it aims to enforce the core principles of fair advertising law.”(HT Mashable) Photo at top: A team member demonstrates Instagram video during a press conference at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park on June 20, 2013.

(John Green/Bay Area News Group)Tags: ads, Advertising, celebrities, endorsements, FTC, instagram, Jennifer Lopez, Kevin Durant, paid placement, Public Citizen, Rihanna, Serena Williams, Stephen Curry

collect
0
William Ewing 2018-12-06

The Federal Trade Commission’s top consumer protection official is prohibited from handling the cases involving 120 different companies, including Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, and Uber, according to financial disclosure documents published by Public Citizen today.

Andrew Smith, who heads the FTC’s Consumer Protection Bureau, would be in charge of handling investigations into some of the country’s largest companies and any consumer protection violations that may occur.

“It’s a big world out there, and the FTC has very broad jurisdictions,” Smith said to The Verge.

“There are plenty of investigations that I’m involved in.”

Smith was approved by a 3-2 Republican majority in May.

“Andrew Smith is literally not able to do his job,” Remington A. Gregg, counsel for civil justice and consumer rights at Public Citizen said.

collect
0
William Figueroa 2019-07-24
img

A consumer advocacy group is urging US regulators to investigate Amazon over undisclosed influencer endorsements during Prime Day this year.

Washington DC-based group Public Citizen said that in a "great number of cases," influencers did not let people know they were getting commission for their endorsements.

Federal Trade Commission guidelines suggest that companies should monitor influencers who are endorsing products on their behalf and "deal" with those not being transparent.

Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A consumer advocacy group is asking US regulators to investigate Amazon, alleging that some of its influencers did no correctly disclose that they were being paid for endorsing Prime Day deals.

Washington DC-based group Public Citizen said in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission this week that "in a great number of cases" the endorsement relationship was not communicated to customers.

collect
0
Robert Massaro 2017-04-20
img

Celebrities and "influencers" in the US have been warned to clearly identify when they are promoting products on Instagram in return for payment.

The consumer regulator sent letters to more than 90 individuals and marketing firms, though it has not revealed who was put on notice.

An advocacy group which petitioned for the move said Instagram had become "a Wild West of disguised advertising".

The Federal Trade Commission targeted a sample of posts that either referenced a brand or directly endorsed products.

The intervention was part-prompted by the advocacy group Public Citizen which carried out its own investigation last year, naming celebrities including Rihanna and Kim Kardashian among 113 influencers who it said endorsed a product without disclosure.

"Instagram has become a Wild West of disguised advertising, targeting young people and especially young women," the group said.

collect
0
Wayne Strickland 2020-09-11
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Amazon has been accused of price gouging on essential items like toilet paper and antibacterial soap in a report by consumer rights group Public Citizen. The report analyzed over a dozen products, including those sold by third-party sellers and items listed as “sold by Amazon.” It found that between the months of May and August, prices on some items more than quadrupled in price, seemingly breaking Amazon’s own Fair Pricing Policy.

Responding to the report, Amazon said that there was “no place for price gouging” on its service, including on products it sells directly. “Our systems are designed to offers customers the best available online price and if we see an error, we work quickly to fix it,” a spokesperson said.

But the report...

Continue reading…

collect
0
Bessie Scavotto 2017-04-20

Celebrities have been warned over misleading Instagram posts that are not clearly marked as promotions after complaints that scores of high profile users could be breaching consumer rights.

The US and UK are clamping down on the way influential users, who often boast tens of millions of followers, share paid-for material on the Facebook-owned social network.

On Wednesday night the Federal Trade Commission issued warning letters to 90 celebrities urging them to disclose when posts are sponsored clearly and high up in the message.

The UK watchdog, the Advertising Standards Agency, confirmed that it has also been cracking down on the phenomenon, working with companies and high profile users to ensure guidelines are met.

The most recent warning in the US comes after rights organisation Public Citizen raised concerns with the watchdog about the endorsement of 113 celebrities, including Rihanna, Rita Ora and Kylie Jenner.

As well as advising Instagram influencers what kind of posts require disclosure, the Commission told the celebrities they need to flag that content is sponsored early on in the post.

collect
0
Brandon Gaither 2016-10-24
img

Influencer marketing has been an increasingly contentious issue, with the FTC recently calling out deceptive sponsored social media posts as the first part of a crackdown against them.

The commission wants to see more transparency with those posts, but is noticeably quiet on a related issue: influencer marketing targeted specifically at children.

As a result, three consumer watchdogs have filed a complaint with the FTC, requesting that it do something about the problem.

The complaint comes from the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, Public Citizen, and Center for Digital Democracy.

All three have requested the FTC look into Disney s Maker Studios, Google, AwesomenessTV, Wild Brain, and Collab Creators over what it says are unfair and deceptive practices that involve targeting kids with influencer marketing.

The big problem with influencer marketing — which includes things like sponsored social media posts — is that they don t make it clear they re a form of advertisement.

collect
0
Michael Wadsworth 2017-07-20
img

An appeals court will soon decide whether the US government can unmask anonymous users of Glassdoor—and the entire proceeding is set to happen in secret.

The 9th Circuit case was flagged yesterday by Public Citizen attorney Paul Levy, who intends to submit an amicus brief in the case.

Prosecutors believe these eight Glassdoor users are "third-party witnesses to certain business practices relevant to [the] investigation."

Glassdoor made a compromise proposal to the government: it would notify the users in question about the government's subpoena and then provide identifying information about users who were willing to participate.

At that point, Glassdoor lawyered up and headed to court, seeking to have the subpoena thrown out.

Lawyers for Glassdoor argued that its users have a First Amendment right to speak anonymously.

collect
0
Michael Smith 2017-04-21
img

And would you believe it?

The Kardashians are front and center

America's trade watchdog has warned more than 90 celebrities that they need to disclose when they are paid to promote a product – or risk facing an investigation.

Among the red-faced celebs: David and Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Lopez, actresses Shay Mitchell and Vanessa Hudgens, and most of the Kardashian clan – Kourtney, her mostly drunk husband Scott, and Pepsi embarrassment Kendall Jenner.

US regulator the FTC acted after advocacy group Public Citizen sent a letter [PDF] back in November complaining about the blatant endorsements on social media network Instagram where the "influencer" failed to disclose they had been paid.

The letter included screenshots of each.

collect
0
William Mcneely 2016-09-13
img

Fitness isn't always easy, but these results are worth it!

In recent posts on various social media sites, she has mentioned LuxeJet Instagram handle and custom hashtag , Lokai Twitter handle, custom hashtag and ad , Airbnb Twitter handle , and Puma Twitter handle and custom hashtag .

Last week, a group of organizations wrote a letter to the Federal Trade Commission requesting an investigation into celebrity influencer campaigns on Instagram that do not include proper ad disclosures.

The group singled out the Kardashians in its letter as serial culprits, citing the aforementioned FitTea and Puma examples.

The Kardashians are the easiest target for critics of rampant undisclosed advertising, but the truth is that brands are interested in anyone who is young, cool, and attracts a large enough audience.

"We've been interested in deceptive endorsements for decades and this is a new way in which they are appearing," Michael Ostheimer, a deputy in the FTC's Ad Practices Division, said to Bloomberg.

collect
0
Brian Plymel 2017-10-05
img

Someone dressed as Rich Uncle Pennybags from the Monopoly board game crashed the former Equifax CEO's Senate hearing on Wednesday (4 October) and the internet couldn't get enough.

Richard Smith is testifying before four congressional committees this week on the embattled credit firm's massive data breach that compromised the personal and financial data of about 145.5 million people.

Dressed in a tuxedo, top hat, bushy white mustache and a monocle, Amanda Werner, campaign manager for non-profits Public Citizen and Americans for Financial Reform, was seated a few rows behind Smith.

During the live webcast of his testimony, the character was visible over Smith's left shoulder, wiping her brow with money and twirling the moustache.

However, the fine print initially included an arbitration clause that prevented people from suing or joining a class action lawsuit against the company.

It eventually removed arbitration from its identity theft protection offering following massive outrage.

collect
0
Wayne Chapple 2018-04-10

Today at Mark Zuckerberg’s first of two hearings with Congress, the meme maker formerly known as the Monopoly Man made a surprise cameo in troll form to troll the Facebook founder.

Amanda Werner, made their first splash as a mascot of corporate greed during a Senate hearing with Equifax’s CEO Richard Smith.

Werner, dressed as Monopoly’s Rich Uncle Pennybags, sat just behind Smith for the entirety of his testimony, fiddling with a monocle and mopping their brow with oversize one hundred dollar bills.

“Since Zuckerberg allowed millions of Russian trolls to undermine our democracy, I assume he won’t mind if one Russian troll undermines his credibility,” Werner said in a statement on the stunt.

The gags are over the top, but they’re meant to draw attention to meaningful consumer causes.

Werner’s Equifax appearance, an undertaking by an organization called Public Citizen, was focused on highlighting consumer-hostile forced arbitration clauses.

collect
0
Carl Fox 2018-11-20
img

On Tuesday, Color of Change, Bend the Arc: Jewish Action and Public Citizen called on the world's social network to fire Joel Kaplan, Facebook's vice president of global public policy.

The advocacy groups also want Facebook to release a civil rights audit and any opposition research done on them by Definers Public Affairs, a firm that the social media company ended its contract with after an investigation by The New York Times.

Last week, the Times reported that Definers Public Affairs tried to discredit Facebook's critics by linking them to liberal and Jewish billionaire George Soros.

Definers circulated a research document and tried to press reporters to dig into financial ties between Soros and members of Freedom from Facebook, a coalition of Facebook critics that's urged regulators to break up the social media giant.

Activists from the group protested at a congressional hearing in July and held up a sign that Facebook reportedly flagged as anti-Semitic.

"While we were sitting across the table operating in good faith, they were trying to undermine us with anti-Semitic and anti-black tropes," said Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color of Change, which was one of the groups reportedly targeted by Definers.

collect
0
James Bice 2016-08-31
img

A local Texas judge is tossing a $1 million lawsuit brought by a Dallas pet-sitting business that sued the owners of a pet fish for giving the company a 1-star Yelp review that complained that "Gordy" was overfed.

Among other allegations, Prestigious Pets claimed PDF that a Plano couple violated its non-disparagement clause and defamed it on Yelp in last year's review.

The Dallas County suit alleged that Michelle and Robert Duchouquette's review about the overfeeding of the tiny betta fish amounted to libel because overfeeding is akin to animal cruelty and a crime.

"I am thankful to have a ruling that supports our right to free speech.

We should all have the opportunity to express our opinions without the fear of a lawsuit," Michelle Duchouquette said in a statement.

Judge Jim Jordan also ruled PDF in a brief order that the couple's lawyers, which included Public Citizen, are entitled to recover legal fees, in addition to sanctions "sufficient to deter them from bringing similar actions."

collect
0
Mark Alexander 2016-12-20
img

WASHINGTON ― President-elect Donald Trump says he ll personally call every company in America that plans to ship jobs overseas and ask them to reconsider.

But there are ways to stop American companies from offshoring jobs that don t involve the U.S. president spending hours on the phone.

After all, hundreds of companies offshore jobs every year ― and the president only has so much time.

Regardless of whether Trump s threat to punish offshoring companies with a 35-percent tariff on imports they ship back to the U.S. is practical, the president indeed has far-reaching power to overturn existing U.S. trade practices.

But in recent decades, the U.S. has exempted goods produced in countries with which the U.S. has trade agreements from so-called Buy America provisions.

Because those elements of trade agreements are enacted through regulatory waivers, Trump can simply scrap the waivers, according to Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen s Global Trade Watch.

collect
0
William Figueroa 2018-06-01
img

Thousands of activists delivered an open letter to Amazon on Wednesday urging the company to free its contractors from forced arbitration.

When an employee or contractor of a US company is forced into arbitration, they waive their right to have their dispute heard in court.

They also often forfeit their right to participate in a class-action lawsuit.

Instead, individual claims are typically settled by a third party, and the proceedings and agreements are often kept secret.

Wednesday’s letter to Amazon’s board of directors requests that the company use its shareholder meeting today to address and eliminate arbitration clauses.

“As a service that is used by millions of people worldwide, Amazon has the power to influence other companies with its actions,” the letter, created by Public Citizen, a US nonprofit dedicated to advocating for the public interest and against corporate interests, states.

William Ewing 2018-12-06

The Federal Trade Commission’s top consumer protection official is prohibited from handling the cases involving 120 different companies, including Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, and Uber, according to financial disclosure documents published by Public Citizen today.

Andrew Smith, who heads the FTC’s Consumer Protection Bureau, would be in charge of handling investigations into some of the country’s largest companies and any consumer protection violations that may occur.

“It’s a big world out there, and the FTC has very broad jurisdictions,” Smith said to The Verge.

“There are plenty of investigations that I’m involved in.”

Smith was approved by a 3-2 Republican majority in May.

“Andrew Smith is literally not able to do his job,” Remington A. Gregg, counsel for civil justice and consumer rights at Public Citizen said.

Robert Massaro 2017-04-20
img

Celebrities and "influencers" in the US have been warned to clearly identify when they are promoting products on Instagram in return for payment.

The consumer regulator sent letters to more than 90 individuals and marketing firms, though it has not revealed who was put on notice.

An advocacy group which petitioned for the move said Instagram had become "a Wild West of disguised advertising".

The Federal Trade Commission targeted a sample of posts that either referenced a brand or directly endorsed products.

The intervention was part-prompted by the advocacy group Public Citizen which carried out its own investigation last year, naming celebrities including Rihanna and Kim Kardashian among 113 influencers who it said endorsed a product without disclosure.

"Instagram has become a Wild West of disguised advertising, targeting young people and especially young women," the group said.

Bessie Scavotto 2017-04-20

Celebrities have been warned over misleading Instagram posts that are not clearly marked as promotions after complaints that scores of high profile users could be breaching consumer rights.

The US and UK are clamping down on the way influential users, who often boast tens of millions of followers, share paid-for material on the Facebook-owned social network.

On Wednesday night the Federal Trade Commission issued warning letters to 90 celebrities urging them to disclose when posts are sponsored clearly and high up in the message.

The UK watchdog, the Advertising Standards Agency, confirmed that it has also been cracking down on the phenomenon, working with companies and high profile users to ensure guidelines are met.

The most recent warning in the US comes after rights organisation Public Citizen raised concerns with the watchdog about the endorsement of 113 celebrities, including Rihanna, Rita Ora and Kylie Jenner.

As well as advising Instagram influencers what kind of posts require disclosure, the Commission told the celebrities they need to flag that content is sponsored early on in the post.

Michael Wadsworth 2017-07-20
img

An appeals court will soon decide whether the US government can unmask anonymous users of Glassdoor—and the entire proceeding is set to happen in secret.

The 9th Circuit case was flagged yesterday by Public Citizen attorney Paul Levy, who intends to submit an amicus brief in the case.

Prosecutors believe these eight Glassdoor users are "third-party witnesses to certain business practices relevant to [the] investigation."

Glassdoor made a compromise proposal to the government: it would notify the users in question about the government's subpoena and then provide identifying information about users who were willing to participate.

At that point, Glassdoor lawyered up and headed to court, seeking to have the subpoena thrown out.

Lawyers for Glassdoor argued that its users have a First Amendment right to speak anonymously.

William Mcneely 2016-09-13
img

Fitness isn't always easy, but these results are worth it!

In recent posts on various social media sites, she has mentioned LuxeJet Instagram handle and custom hashtag , Lokai Twitter handle, custom hashtag and ad , Airbnb Twitter handle , and Puma Twitter handle and custom hashtag .

Last week, a group of organizations wrote a letter to the Federal Trade Commission requesting an investigation into celebrity influencer campaigns on Instagram that do not include proper ad disclosures.

The group singled out the Kardashians in its letter as serial culprits, citing the aforementioned FitTea and Puma examples.

The Kardashians are the easiest target for critics of rampant undisclosed advertising, but the truth is that brands are interested in anyone who is young, cool, and attracts a large enough audience.

"We've been interested in deceptive endorsements for decades and this is a new way in which they are appearing," Michael Ostheimer, a deputy in the FTC's Ad Practices Division, said to Bloomberg.

Wayne Chapple 2018-04-10

Today at Mark Zuckerberg’s first of two hearings with Congress, the meme maker formerly known as the Monopoly Man made a surprise cameo in troll form to troll the Facebook founder.

Amanda Werner, made their first splash as a mascot of corporate greed during a Senate hearing with Equifax’s CEO Richard Smith.

Werner, dressed as Monopoly’s Rich Uncle Pennybags, sat just behind Smith for the entirety of his testimony, fiddling with a monocle and mopping their brow with oversize one hundred dollar bills.

“Since Zuckerberg allowed millions of Russian trolls to undermine our democracy, I assume he won’t mind if one Russian troll undermines his credibility,” Werner said in a statement on the stunt.

The gags are over the top, but they’re meant to draw attention to meaningful consumer causes.

Werner’s Equifax appearance, an undertaking by an organization called Public Citizen, was focused on highlighting consumer-hostile forced arbitration clauses.

James Bice 2016-08-31
img

A local Texas judge is tossing a $1 million lawsuit brought by a Dallas pet-sitting business that sued the owners of a pet fish for giving the company a 1-star Yelp review that complained that "Gordy" was overfed.

Among other allegations, Prestigious Pets claimed PDF that a Plano couple violated its non-disparagement clause and defamed it on Yelp in last year's review.

The Dallas County suit alleged that Michelle and Robert Duchouquette's review about the overfeeding of the tiny betta fish amounted to libel because overfeeding is akin to animal cruelty and a crime.

"I am thankful to have a ruling that supports our right to free speech.

We should all have the opportunity to express our opinions without the fear of a lawsuit," Michelle Duchouquette said in a statement.

Judge Jim Jordan also ruled PDF in a brief order that the couple's lawyers, which included Public Citizen, are entitled to recover legal fees, in addition to sanctions "sufficient to deter them from bringing similar actions."

William Franklin 2017-04-20
img

Celebrities who push products on Instagram without disclosing that they got paid to do so got a friendly letter from the FTC this week.The Federal Trade Commission asked the “influencers” to more clearly and conspicuously label their posts as paid placements, saying that using hashtags isn’t enough because “readers may just skip over them.”The FTC would not name names “at this time,” but said it sent the letters because of complaints from consumer advocacy group Public Citizen.

In September and November, Public Citizen sent complaints to the FTC about undisclosed paid product endorsements by Warriors stars Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, pop star Rihanna, some Kardashians — they’re everywhere — and more.Wednesday, the FTC said it sent more than 90 letters to influencers, urging them to check themselves — and the agency’s endorsement guides.

The agency said it was the first time “that FTC staff has reached out directly to educate social media influencers themselves.”In its communications with the FTC, Public Citizen also charged that “companies are preying off of the trust and relatability of smaller-level influencers” who often get free products from companies and don’t disclose that they are paid endorsements.Other celebrities mentioned in Public Citizen’s complaints include Serena Williams, LeBron James, Jennifer Lopez, Anne Hathaway and Ryan Reynolds.What are the consequences if the influencers don’t shape up?According to the FTC’s endorsement guides: “Although there are no fines for violations of the FTC Act, law enforcement actions can result in orders requiring the defendants in the case to give up money they received from their violations.”Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, said in a statement Wednesday that the FTC’s letters validate the group’s concerns, but that they’re just a first step.“Instagram has become a Wild West of disguised advertising, targeting young people and especially young women,” Weissman said.

“That’s not going to change unless the FTC makes clear that it aims to enforce the core principles of fair advertising law.”(HT Mashable) Photo at top: A team member demonstrates Instagram video during a press conference at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park on June 20, 2013.

(John Green/Bay Area News Group)Tags: ads, Advertising, celebrities, endorsements, FTC, instagram, Jennifer Lopez, Kevin Durant, paid placement, Public Citizen, Rihanna, Serena Williams, Stephen Curry

William Figueroa 2019-07-24
img

A consumer advocacy group is urging US regulators to investigate Amazon over undisclosed influencer endorsements during Prime Day this year.

Washington DC-based group Public Citizen said that in a "great number of cases," influencers did not let people know they were getting commission for their endorsements.

Federal Trade Commission guidelines suggest that companies should monitor influencers who are endorsing products on their behalf and "deal" with those not being transparent.

Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A consumer advocacy group is asking US regulators to investigate Amazon, alleging that some of its influencers did no correctly disclose that they were being paid for endorsing Prime Day deals.

Washington DC-based group Public Citizen said in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission this week that "in a great number of cases" the endorsement relationship was not communicated to customers.

Wayne Strickland 2020-09-11
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Amazon has been accused of price gouging on essential items like toilet paper and antibacterial soap in a report by consumer rights group Public Citizen. The report analyzed over a dozen products, including those sold by third-party sellers and items listed as “sold by Amazon.” It found that between the months of May and August, prices on some items more than quadrupled in price, seemingly breaking Amazon’s own Fair Pricing Policy.

Responding to the report, Amazon said that there was “no place for price gouging” on its service, including on products it sells directly. “Our systems are designed to offers customers the best available online price and if we see an error, we work quickly to fix it,” a spokesperson said.

But the report...

Continue reading…

Brandon Gaither 2016-10-24
img

Influencer marketing has been an increasingly contentious issue, with the FTC recently calling out deceptive sponsored social media posts as the first part of a crackdown against them.

The commission wants to see more transparency with those posts, but is noticeably quiet on a related issue: influencer marketing targeted specifically at children.

As a result, three consumer watchdogs have filed a complaint with the FTC, requesting that it do something about the problem.

The complaint comes from the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, Public Citizen, and Center for Digital Democracy.

All three have requested the FTC look into Disney s Maker Studios, Google, AwesomenessTV, Wild Brain, and Collab Creators over what it says are unfair and deceptive practices that involve targeting kids with influencer marketing.

The big problem with influencer marketing — which includes things like sponsored social media posts — is that they don t make it clear they re a form of advertisement.

Michael Smith 2017-04-21
img

And would you believe it?

The Kardashians are front and center

America's trade watchdog has warned more than 90 celebrities that they need to disclose when they are paid to promote a product – or risk facing an investigation.

Among the red-faced celebs: David and Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Lopez, actresses Shay Mitchell and Vanessa Hudgens, and most of the Kardashian clan – Kourtney, her mostly drunk husband Scott, and Pepsi embarrassment Kendall Jenner.

US regulator the FTC acted after advocacy group Public Citizen sent a letter [PDF] back in November complaining about the blatant endorsements on social media network Instagram where the "influencer" failed to disclose they had been paid.

The letter included screenshots of each.

Brian Plymel 2017-10-05
img

Someone dressed as Rich Uncle Pennybags from the Monopoly board game crashed the former Equifax CEO's Senate hearing on Wednesday (4 October) and the internet couldn't get enough.

Richard Smith is testifying before four congressional committees this week on the embattled credit firm's massive data breach that compromised the personal and financial data of about 145.5 million people.

Dressed in a tuxedo, top hat, bushy white mustache and a monocle, Amanda Werner, campaign manager for non-profits Public Citizen and Americans for Financial Reform, was seated a few rows behind Smith.

During the live webcast of his testimony, the character was visible over Smith's left shoulder, wiping her brow with money and twirling the moustache.

However, the fine print initially included an arbitration clause that prevented people from suing or joining a class action lawsuit against the company.

It eventually removed arbitration from its identity theft protection offering following massive outrage.

Carl Fox 2018-11-20
img

On Tuesday, Color of Change, Bend the Arc: Jewish Action and Public Citizen called on the world's social network to fire Joel Kaplan, Facebook's vice president of global public policy.

The advocacy groups also want Facebook to release a civil rights audit and any opposition research done on them by Definers Public Affairs, a firm that the social media company ended its contract with after an investigation by The New York Times.

Last week, the Times reported that Definers Public Affairs tried to discredit Facebook's critics by linking them to liberal and Jewish billionaire George Soros.

Definers circulated a research document and tried to press reporters to dig into financial ties between Soros and members of Freedom from Facebook, a coalition of Facebook critics that's urged regulators to break up the social media giant.

Activists from the group protested at a congressional hearing in July and held up a sign that Facebook reportedly flagged as anti-Semitic.

"While we were sitting across the table operating in good faith, they were trying to undermine us with anti-Semitic and anti-black tropes," said Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color of Change, which was one of the groups reportedly targeted by Definers.

Mark Alexander 2016-12-20
img

WASHINGTON ― President-elect Donald Trump says he ll personally call every company in America that plans to ship jobs overseas and ask them to reconsider.

But there are ways to stop American companies from offshoring jobs that don t involve the U.S. president spending hours on the phone.

After all, hundreds of companies offshore jobs every year ― and the president only has so much time.

Regardless of whether Trump s threat to punish offshoring companies with a 35-percent tariff on imports they ship back to the U.S. is practical, the president indeed has far-reaching power to overturn existing U.S. trade practices.

But in recent decades, the U.S. has exempted goods produced in countries with which the U.S. has trade agreements from so-called Buy America provisions.

Because those elements of trade agreements are enacted through regulatory waivers, Trump can simply scrap the waivers, according to Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen s Global Trade Watch.