The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) new marketing rule will take effect on November 4, 2022. Advertising and solicitation regulations have undergone a major overhaul after decades of continuity. Further, testimonials and endorsements are no longer prohibited, but their use will be conditioned on compliance with certain provisions. The new rule only applies to financial adviser’s communications that are advertisements, as defined in the new rule.
In June of this year, a new California bill, which allows social media companies to be sued by state government attorneys for having features that contribute to the addiction of children to their apps, cleared the state Senate. The bill was originally brought to California’s state assembly as one that would permit parents to sue social media giants for up to $25,000 per violation but was later amended after lobbying from business and tech-industry groups. The worry that social media is able to exploit children through ads, notifications, and other features in the design that are promoting addiction has amplified since the premiere of 2020 documentary, “The Social Dilemma.” Since then, the warning that regulation was looming has quickly turned into actual movement towards regulating the actions of social media companies. The bill has since failed, a disappointing end to an initiative that could have made a real change towards keeping social media giants in check.
Thanks to the continued prominence of social media in people’s daily lives, it is no surprise that more familiar marketing strategies such as celebrity product endorsements would update for the current era. Recently, social media advertising has practically entered the realm of science fiction with the introduction of computer-generated influencers. These avatars are created to sell, but who is responsible if they fail to comply with advertising laws?
Nearly 40% of publishers using native advertising are not compliant with the Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC”) guidelines; this figure has improved from one year ago, when only 30% of users were following the guidelines. In 2017 alone, the FTC estimates that the revenue generated from native advertising will total $20.9 billion, with an estimated 610 new advertisers each month this number is projected to increase to $59 billion in 2018. The number of corporations using native advertising has increased over the years because of social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, where much of the in-feed content is paid or sponsored.