Japanese influencers who were paid by Disney to promote Frozen 2 to their Twitter followers have come forward to accuse Disney of deliberately instructing them to avoid disclosing that they had been paid, contrary to an official explanation previously given by Disney.
On December 3rd, several Japanese artists posted original pieces of art alongside positive reviews of Frozen 2. Twitter users quickly noted that these tweets were all published in a relatively short time window, and despite the blatant fact that these tweets were sponsored by Disney, that these tweets did not make clear that the tweets were sponsored.
Disney soon responded, stating that the failure to disclose that the tweets were sponsored was an accident and that “due to insufficient communication between the parties, the posts failed to have the note.” The company also noted that they were “deeply sorry for this.”
However, on December 12th, some of the artists who promoted Frozen 2 came forward and accused Disney of explicitly instructing the artists to avoid disclosing that they were paid for the promotion.
According to one artist, Kosame Daizu, “The agency that hired us for this campaign requested that we not label our work as a promotion.”
Another artist, Yamato Nadeshiko, stated that their tweet was not properly labeled due to the client’s request.
Disney hired numerous agencies to promote the film, and Daizu and Nadeshiko did not specifically identify which agency hired them.
Some of the same artists who promoted Frozen 2 had previously promoted other Disney movies, such as Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame without disclosing the sponsored nature of their posts.
As of writing, neither Disney nor it’s Japanese branch, Dentsu, have responded to requests for comments.