Sections

EA and Microsoft paying YouTubers for endorsements complies with FTC guidelines

Monday, 27th January 2014 06:26 GMT By Mike Irving

YouTubers being paid for positive coverage of games doesn’t breach the Federal Trade Commission’s guidelines, according to a spokesperson.

After news broke last week about EA and Microsoft paying prominent YouTube personalities for positive coverage of their games, questions of ethics were thrown about. Speaking to Polygon, Betsy Lordan, a representative of the FTC’s Office of Public Affairs, said that
according to FTC guidelines, paid promotions are fine as long as it’s made clear that the endorser is being paid. These are in place “to help advertisers and endorsers comply with federal advertising law”, but on their own, “are not legally enforceable”.

If these guidelines are not followed, no direct penalty is applicable. However, the FTC may conduct an investigation into the offending parties to determine whether federal advertising law has been breached.

Breaking news

17 Comments

Sign in to post a comment.

  1. The_Red

    No shit it doesn’t by itself. It’s the “Do not disclose” part of MS contract that’s the problem.

    FTC: “as long as it’s made clear that the endorser is being paid.”

    #1 3 months ago
  2. melonbuster1

    Lol. Playing by the rules nothing wrong with that. . All is fair in war.. Sony is just as corrupt so please. . It is billions at stake here.. none of which we get so please don’t get all high and mighty. . Get off your soap boxes people. . You are all sheepple. . Wake up

    #2 3 months ago
  3. The_Red

    @2
    “Sony too” is not exactly the best defense. It’s like every killer saying “Zodiac was just as corrupt” so people shouldn’t be angry about my killings!

    #3 3 months ago
  4. GrimRita

    All I can say is, if you need to pay someone to say your product is good, then it must be shit.

    #4 3 months ago
  5. Major Mayhem 70

    Allow me to sum up what #2 was really trying to say. Who gives a sh!t. At the end of the day you either buy into the product or you don’t. I support MS and Sony and Apple and Samsung and….

    #5 3 months ago
  6. Ireland Michael

    This sort of thing is the foundation of advertising for decades. Offering extra payment for extra advertising is not a new thing. Half of the things you read on professional websites nowadays are based entirely on the exchange of money.

    And no, they don’t have to directly disclose it. Like this said, it’s not enforceable, and nobody is actually putting their foot down to ensure that it is. The federal court doesn’t care.

    Just because some random guy on the internet said that it’s breaks tidiness doesn’t mean that it is.

    EA and Microsoft are undoubtedly not the ones doing this. They’re just smart enough to keep their records shut.

    #6 3 months ago
  7. Djoenz

    @Dave Cook & Staff
    This is why I appreciate your disclaimers! Keep it 100 bro.

    #7 3 months ago
  8. mistermogul

    “EA and Microsoft paying YouTubers for endorsements complies with FTC guidelines”

    MS paying for ads was not the issue here, it was the fact that they required people to say positive things only about their products.

    If that’s not against the FTC guidelines then maybe they need to be changed. Or maybe they had a nice cheque in the post from MS over the weekend?!

    #8 3 months ago
  9. sh4dow

    Who cares about what is legal? Companies do whatever the fuck they want anyway. BP still is in business, isn’t it? Nobody went to prison, did they? Yet, you can get into all kinds of trouble for owning a bag of weed. Bullshit, I say. One should get upset when something seems wrong by average moral standards, not when it is legal/illegal, since the criminal justice system doesn’t represent said standards.

    #9 3 months ago
  10. RaikoRis

    Now all this facade has come to light. The real issue is credibility in video game journalism.

    #10 3 months ago
  11. GrimRita

    @10 you will only find a handful of Journos who will remain honest. Naturally, you can’t trust the corrupted mainstream like IGN and Gamespot both of whom have been known to provide high score reviews for advertising space.

    With more users trusting user reviews, this could become the next battle ground and I am sure that laws will eventually change when someone breaks the rules big time

    #11 3 months ago
  12. Ireland Michael

    This is not a problem in just video game journalism.

    It permeates the entire media.

    #12 3 months ago
  13. Joe Musashi

    Plenty of misdirection being presented as relevant facts in these comments.

    JM

    #13 3 months ago
  14. CyberMarco

    @13 Would you like to enlighten us then?

    On topic, I’m sure every company has its dirty little secret, no doubt about that. Personally I don’t trust anything covered/presented by the professional media, not only in gaming but everything.

    I much prefer doing my own research than reading a “professional review” of a product and letting it influencing (mostly) my decision.

    #14 3 months ago
  15. Ireland Michael

    @14 Of course not. Passive aggressive insults and vague assumptions are much cooler than straight up saying what you mean.

    #15 3 months ago
  16. GrimRita

    @13 just google Kane & Lynch and gamespot http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2007/12/fired-gamespot/

    When Eidos threatened to withdraw their advertising, he got fired, the game got re-reviewed and what a shock…a much higher review score. Nothing misguided about that.

    #16 3 months ago
  17. Joe Musashi

    LOL. Watching frequent dispensers of unsubstantiated rumours and out-of-thin-air ‘facts’ getting upset at vague references is deliciously ironic. Especially when they get so butthurt whenever their own vapourous waffle is challenged.

    JM

    #17 3 months ago