Game Changer! Did EA force influencer to violate False Advertising Laws?

With reports that content creator “Gggmanlives”, a member of Electronic Arts’ own paid-affiliate “Game Changers” program, was asked to remove EA-identifying watermarks from his negative review of Bioware’s Anthem, controversy surrounding the video game publisher’s use of influencers as de facto arms of its marketing department continues to swirl.

What seems to have actually happened here?

What is the Electronic Arts Game Changers Program?

And if EA actually made this request, why might it have caused itself (and Gggmanlives) many, many more problems?


Discussed in this episode:

“YouTuber paid by EA to review Anthem claims he was told to take down the video and remove watermarks after negative impressions”
vg247, February 22, 2019
(https://www.vg247.com/2019/02/22/paid-review-anthem-youtuber/)

Tweets from “Skill Up reviewing #Anthem”
February 22, 2019
(https://twitter.com/SkillUpYT/status/1098908894343049216)

Tweets from Gggmanlives
February 21 and February 22, 2019
(https://twitter.com/Ggdograa/status/1098885724303024128)

“My Reuploaded Anthem Review (It’s Still Bad) – Gggmanlives”
Youtube, February 22, 2019
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAFk_I0nxnU)

EA Game Changers – Landing Page
(https://www.ea.com/game-changers)

EA Game Changers – About Page
(https://www.ea.com/game-changers/about)

EA Game Changers – Disclosure Page
(https://www.ea.com/game-changers/disclosure)

“The FTC’s Endorsement Guides: What People Are Asking”
(https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/ftcs-endorsement-guides-what-people-are-asking)

“Virtual Legality #22 – Apex Legends: Running Afoul of FTC Advertiser Guidelines? (Hoeg Law)”
YouTube, February 4, 2019
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Onje7S80YEc)

“Virtual Legality Extra – It’s About Ethics in Games Journalism… (Hoeg Law)”
YouTube, February 7, 2019
(https://youtu.be/DySHnxw6B5s)


PODCAST VERSIONS AVAILABLE AT

Spotify: (https://open.spotify.com/show/3qsDhQ7h6BR2wLyNQYDWB4)

iTunes:
(https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/virtual-legality/id1448785539?mt=2)

SoundCloud:
(https://soundcloud.com/user-510342404)

Google Play Music:
(https://play.google.com/music/listen#/ps/In3d7qersx72lvzehxo7gu6cd5u)


“Virtual Legality” is a continuing series discussing the law, video games, software, and everything digital, hosted by Richard Hoeg, of the Hoeg Law Business Law Firm (Hoeg Law).

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