National Advertising Division Recommends Cariuma Disclose Material Connection Between Cariuma Sneakers and Publisher of Social Media Posts

New York, NY – November 29, 2023 – Through its advertising monitoring program, BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division (NAD) inquired about social media posts created by Cariuma Central Pte., Ltd. for its Cariuma sneakers, and recommended that Cariuma clearly and conspicuously disclose its material connection to the endorser and publisher of the posts.

Three social media posts featuring Cariuma sneakers appeared on the Instagram and Facebook accounts of Travel + Leisure (T+L), US Weekly, and The Quality Edit (TQE) and were labeled “Sponsored” below the name of the publisher. The posts included images of Cariuma sneakers and invited consumers to “shop here” or “learn more” about the sneakers. 

NAD’s inquiry focused on whether the format of the challenged social media posts blurred the line between editorial content and advertising in a way that can confuse consumers. NAD assessed whether this content, which includes affiliate links but appears to be editorial, is advertising and considered whether the content was created independent of the “economic or commercial motivation” introduced by affiliate marketing revenue. 

NAD determined that the three sponsored posts for Cariuma sneakers are advertising and noted that:

  • Cariuma retains full editorial control over the creative content with TQE and must approve any content before publication; and 
  • Cariuma selected and paid for each amplified social media post with T+L, US Weekly, and TQE. As such, the posts are paid endorsements for Cariuma sneakers.

 

NAD concluded that even though the posts were labeled “Sponsored,” it is not clear whether the posts were sponsored by the publisher or by Cariuma. As a result, consumers were not aware that the posts are paid endorsements by Cariuma. 

NAD recommended Cariuma clearly and conspicuously disclose its material connection to the endorser and publisher of the social media posts. 

In its advertiser statement, Cariuma stated that it “will comply with the NAD’s recommendation” and further stated that it “respectfully disagrees with the NAD’s decision but is committed to accurate and truthful advertising.”

All BBB National Programs case decision summaries can be found in the case decision library. For the full text of NAD, NARB, and CARU decisions, subscribe to the online archive. Per NAD/NARB procedures, this release shall not be used for advertising or promotional purposes.

 

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