Parents who find the Shadow of Mordor in your kid’s video game consoles can prepare to be angry. (And good news, not at your kid!) Rather – for this moment, anyway – you can direct your scorn to Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, which paid important YouTube influencers – most likely the same influencers your kid turned to when deciding on which video game to spend your money – to create seemingly impartial reviews that were not at all impartial, says the Federal Trade Commission.
They weren’t even reviews. They were commercials and the “influencers” were – in exchange for cash amounts ranging from hundred of dollars to five figure amounts – restricted to only positive remarks, according to the lawsuit. Yes, in launching the product Warner Bros. paid YouTubers – people who eventually got 5.5 million views – and forbade the from showing bugs, glitches or negative sentiments about Warner Bros, its affiliates or the game, according to the complaint. They were required to have a strong, call to action – telling our kids to click to the company’s website to learn more.
Of course, this isn’t illegal but not telling our kids that their company-sponsored commercials – not impartial reviews – is deceptive. Warner Bros. settled the claims.