UNATION Jacksonville (aka @stufftodoinjacksonville)

October 28th, 2021

UPDATE 11/9/21: A spokesperson for the Jacksonville Zoo said that while the zoo has partnered with UNATION for ticket giveaways in the past, this post, which TINA.org had included in the following article as one that might be sponsored, “was not under any partnership agreement” and that UNATION “took it upon themselves to publish.”

A TINA.org reader recently alerted us to UNATION Jacksonville (aka @stufftodoinjacksonville), a for-profit marketing firm masquerading as a “community organization” on Instagram.

Specifically, she pointed to an Oct. 13 Instagram post by the company about an event hosted by Markets for Makers. She noted that the post fails to disclose that Markets for Makers is a client, according to a testimonial attributed to its founder on the UNATION Jacksonville website:

UNATION has been the best investment in my company. I have loved working with their team to grow my brand and events. I’m always confident the marketing dollars I give UNATION are going to have the best ROI because they tailor them specifically toward my events. They hire experts in the space so I don’t have to be one, and that means I get more time to focus on executing my events.

TINA.org found other posts on the marketing firm’s Instagram page that tagged a pizza restaurant and a beer garden that seemed like they could also be undisclosed sponsored posts based on what the company says it offers clients in its sales pitch: “premium position on our popular @StufftoDoinJacksonville Facebook and Instagram pages.”

In order to not run afoul of FTC guidelines regarding advertising disclosures, marketers must ensure that their relationships with businesses they are getting paid to promote are clearly disclosed to consumers.

UNATION Jacksonville is one of 15 “curated cities.” There is also a UNATION Atlanta, a UNATION Philadelphia and a UNATION San Antonio, each of which describes itself as a “community organization.”

TINA.org reached out to UNATION for comment. Check back for updates.

Find more of our coverage on entertainment here.

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