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Is a PewDiePie video a commercial or an independent review? That's what the Federal Trade Commission wants to make sure Warner Bros. Home Entertainment makes clear after settling with the agency over charges of not disclosing who they paid to advertise a 2014 video game. Warner Bros. was slammed by the FTC for not clearly representing that Felix Kjellberg (popularly known on YouTube as PewDiePie) and other online "influencers" were paid as part of a marketing campaign for Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor. Those involved in the campaign were paid between hundreds to thousands of dollars for their participation, created sponsored videos that garnered more than 5.5 million views, received advance-release copies of the game and were told how to promote it. The arrangement required the influencers to promote the game positively, and to not disclose any bugs or glitches found while playing. View the full article
YouTubers including PewDiePie were paid tens of thousands of dollars to give video games positive reviews, it's been claimed. Warner Bros, makers of Shadow of Mordor, has reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) after they were accused of hiding the payments from people. The FTC, a consumers rights organisation, stated Warner Bros had deceived customers by paying YouTubers to promote the game without admitting it. The company is now banned from hiding similar deals in the future and from pretending sponsored videos are the work of independent producers. "Consumers have the right to know if reviewers are providing their own opinions or paid sales pitches," said Jessica Rich from the FTC. View the full article