Social Media has gone from frontier to “settled land of influencers” when it comes to brand promotion. In 2020, social media ad revenues reached $41.5 billion, making up nearly 30 percent of all internet and ad revenue. The latest influencer trend has been marketing “altcoins,” which are cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin. From YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul promoting the digital coin Safemoon to the social-media veteran Kim Kardashian marketing “Ethereum Max,” cryptocurrency promotion permeates social media. On the flip side, there’s also been a boom in consumers seeking financial advice from social media platforms like Reddit’s r/WallStreetBets. However, as with all advertising, cryptocurrency promotion has raised many concerns. Among them? Are the cryptocurrencies marketed by influencers are simply pump-and-dump scams? One approach influencers try to limit liability is by including the disclaimer “this is not financial advice” in their posts and videos, but is including or hashtagging a disclaimer enough to limit liability?
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect industries worldwide, companies are working to stay abreast of—and to proactively react to—the effects and the unique risks of this pandemic. The inherent uncertainty concerning timeframe and magnitude of market disruptions has caused many companies, and even industries, to reevaluate status quo operations and adjust both short-term plans and long-term risk assessments. In light of this, the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently released guidance for public companies regarding its current views on such companies’ risk factor disclosures in light of COVID-19’s distinctive disruptions.