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Artificial Influencers Unmasked

Human influencers have partnered with every brand from Amazon to MeUndies. When they do, the Federal Trade Commission’s Endorsement Guides dictate how they disclose the partnership, usually with hashtags like #ad or #sponsored. More recently, however, there is a trend toward using fictional CGI influencers. And followers are often not aware that these influencers are not human. Lil Miquela and Shudu, for example, are popular CGI influencers that only recently revealed that they are not human. This trend raises a lot of unanswered questions: Should their creators be required to disclose that they are not human? Do they use the same disclosure requirements as human influencers? Are there ethical issues with realistic digital characters promoting an unattainable representation of beauty? Should there be a new category of disclosure statements, such as #RealPerson? Fenwick IP partner Andrew Klungness will walk us through the provocative legal and ethical issues created by these new brand ambassadors.