Celebrities face call to disclose interest in NFT promotions

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U.S.-based consumer watchdog Truth in Advertising (TINA) has called on more than a dozen celebrities to disclose their interest in NFT projects they have promoted. 

The group earlier sent letters to celebrities who have promoted NFTs on their social media accounts, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Eva Longoria, Floyd Mayweather, Tom Brady, Paris Hilton and others.

The NFT projects included the Bored Ape Yacht Club, World of Women (WoW), which supports female creators, and Autograph collections, TINA said.

TINA told them that if they had a material connection to the NFT company they were promoting, the connection had to be clearly and conspicuously disclosed as required by the Federal Trade Commission law. The material connection can range from a six-figure endorsement deal to the gift of a free product or even a personal relationship, the watchdog said.

Citing the U.S. Government Accountability Office, TINA said NFTs might involve financial risks as there is not any statutory and regulatory framework explicitly applicable to them. 

“The fact is that while some of these celebrities are in the financial position to take risks, many vulnerable consumers don’t have that luxury,” said TINA.org executive director Bonnie Patten. “Consumers deserve to understand the full picture behind a celebrity endorsement so that they can make fully informed decisions on whether or not to invest in NFTs.”

The latest move by TINA followed a similar action two months earlier. In June, it sent letters to  Justin Bieber and Reese Witherspoon, warning about their undisclosed endorsements for two NFT companies, inBetweeners and World of Women, respectively. 

Bieber’s legal team denied wrongdoing and stated that his posts would be updated. Witherspoon’s team similarly denied wrongdoing, claiming that she does not derive any benefits from her partnership with World of Women.