WASHINGTON – The Federal Trade Commission says Warner Bros. has agreed to settle charges that it deceived consumers by not properly disclosing that it paid those with big followings on YouTube and social media to promote a video game.
The FTC says Warner Bros. paid online influencers thousands of dollars to post positive videos and reviews of the game “Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor” in late 2014.
The government says Warner Bros. hired the influencers through an advertising agency and instructed them to publish the disclosure of its sponsorship on YouTube in a spot where consumers couldn’t easily view it.
The settlement could be finalized next month. It would bar Warner Bros. from conducting similar campaigns, but there is no financial penalty.
Warner Bros. says it’s committed to complying with FTC guidelines regarding social influencers.