Facing charges that it deceived consumers with paid ads that were presented as objective articles, Lord & Taylor has opted to settle with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
As reported on the FTC website, the commission had formally alleged that, in March of last year, the retailer had paid the publication Nylon to promote the Lord & Taylor Design Lab clothing collection on both the Nylon site itself, as well as on Nylon's Instagram feed, without making the advertorial aspect clear to readers.
The FTC additionally complained that, during the same time frame, Lord & Taylor paid 50 online fashion "influencers" to post pictures of themselves wearing a particular dress from the Design Lab collection without having them disclose that they had been compensated for doing so, both with the item itself, as well as with thousands of dollars.
In accordance with the settlement, notes the FTC, Lord & Taylor is prohibited from misrepresenting paid advertisements as objective analyses made by third parties and must ensure that influencers on social media make disclosures of compensation whenever applicable.
Furthermore, the consent order to which Lord & Taylor agreed as part of the settlement includes the implementation of a monitoring and review program for the retailer's endorsement campaigns.
"Lord & Taylor needs to be straight with consumers in its online marketing campaigns," stated Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. "Consumers have the right to know when they’re looking at paid advertising."