The United States Federal Trade Commission has approved their final consent order in their case against Trevor “TmarTn” Martin and Thomas “Syndicate” Cassell, the co-owners of CSGO Lotto.
In September, Martin and Cassell reached a settlement with the FTC that required them to “clearly and conspicuously” disclose their relationship with companies and individuals that endorse their videos.
The FTC then presented their settlement to the public in what is known as a consent order. The public is allowed to weigh in with their opinions on whether or not the FTC’s decision is fair, and now the FTC is satisfied that the public consents with their current ruling on Martin and Cassell.
Martin and Cassell first made headlines in July 2016, when the pair released several YouTube videos in which they endorsed CSGO Lotto, a skin gambling website, not disclosing that they were, in fact, co-owners of the website. The FTC found that the pair also paid other social media influencers to advertise CSGO Lotto without disclosing that they were paid.
The FTC has ruled that Martin and Cassell must go back and properly disclose their connection with CSGO Lotto in older videos, and going forward cannot misrepresent their connection to companies or individuals that endorse or financially support their videos. These decisions will also apply to all social media in which the pair could endorse a product without disclosing their connections with the product.
Additionally, the pair must take all steps necessary to ensure that disclosure is given from all sides. This includes ensuring that social media influences like Martin and Cassell are given guidelines of how to endorse a product responsibly by the company itself, that the company monitors the endorsers’ social media postings with an eye towards compliance with the FTC order and immediately terminating payment to anyone who is found to not be following these guidelines in the future.
The order does not state that Martin and Cassell will be fined for their actions, but these guidelines will stand as the FTC’s rules and regulations regarding social media indluencers and product endorsement for the forseeable future.