Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Professional Athletes and Celebrities are Harmed by Social Media Credential Fraud

Social Media Credential Fraud may destroy endorsement opportunities for professional athletes and celebrities in the digital space. Sponsors and advertisers are trying to determine the value of a Twitter follower, a Facebook Like, a Klout score and other social media metrics. Monetary and personal decisions are being made based upon social media profiles. Therefore, eliminating Social Media Credential Fraud is extremely important for the marketing industry.

If Social Media Credential Fraud is not stopped in its tracks it will destroy the social media marketing industry before it has even gotten off the ground. In 2009, the FTC updated its advertising regulations and within the last few months it has started to crack down on unethical digital marketing practices. The FTC has not even begun to flex its regulatory muscles and activities like Social Media Credential Fraud and other unethical and misleading marketing activities will not stop until the FTC makes cleaning up this space a priority.

Fortune 500 companies have been hesitant to embrace social media marketing until recently because there are few reliable metrics to measure success. Some professional athletes and celebrities such as Kim Kardashian are already making money due to their social media activity. This is due in part not only because of their popularity but also because advertisers are confident that these professional athletes and celebrities have real organic Twitter Following to Followers figures and other accurate and verifiable social media footprints.

The potential for an expansion of endorsement opportunities in the digital space will be destroyed if those who are perpetrating Social Media Credential Fraud are not punished by the FTC. Therefore, I challenge the marketing industry to take proactive measures against those who perpetrate fraudulent digital activity before it further inhibits the digital marketing space from blossoming. Until the marketing industry eliminates Social Media Credential Fraud and other unethical and misleading activities, sponsors and advertisers will not be able to accurately determine their return on investment for their digital advertising campaigns.

To learn how to how professional athletes and celebrities may avoid violating the FTC endorsement and testimonial guidelines and how to fully monetize one's social media assets you may contact me at

Copyright 2011 by the Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC. All rights reserved.