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Ashton Kutcher’s Disclosure Issues
Posted By Joshua Condon On August 24, 2011 @ 10:25 am In Blogging and Social Media,E-Commerce,Internet and Online Business,Online Marketing | No Comments
Ashton Kutcher can breathe a sigh of relief: the tech-savvy celebrity will not face an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission.
Wait, let’s back up: Kutcher recently guest-edited the online-only version of Details magazine’s September “Social Issue.”  Kutcher is known for his social media prowess (he has 7.5 million Twitter followers), and the issue featured profiles of several fast-growing tech start-ups. The problem is that Kutcher himself is an investor in many of companies profiled, including Foursquare, Flipboard and Airbnb–a fact that was not disclosed anywhere in the online magazine.
When the conflict of interest became a topic of interest, the New York Times’ Bits blog reached out to Richard Cleland, assistant director of advertising practices at the F.T.C., for comment. Cleland said that, in an editorial context, “if you’re out there promoting individual products that you have a specific investment in, it needs to be disclosed.” He added: “It’s certainly a possibility that a case like this could be investigated.”
The F.T.C., however, quickly shot down that possibility. F.T.C. deputy public affairs director Peter Kaplan said “Richard Cleland misspoke,” (he declined to elaborate), while a statement reading “The F.T.C. is not and has no plans to investigate Ashton Kutcher,” was sent out by the agency last Friday.
The best part? The F.T.C. released the statement over Twitter. Ashton Kutcher, he of the millions of Twitter followers, made no comment, although he did–no joke–start following the agency’s Twitter account the same day.
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URL to article: http://technology.inc.com/2011/08/24/ashton-kutchers-disclosure-issues/
URLs in this post:
 online-only version of Details magazine’s September “Social Issue.”: http://www.facebook.com/detailsmag?sk=app_198177350214377
 Bits: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/18/ashton-kutcher-could-face-questions-about-disclosure/
 here: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/19/f-t-c-says-it-will-not-investigate-ashton-kutcher/
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