The Business of Being Cool: FTC Guidelines for Social Media Influencers

Posted by Lauren S. Frisch on

More and more companies are directly engaging with social media influencers for advertising and marketing purposes, making Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations for influencers a necessity.  When handled appropriately, paid partnerships can be mutually beneficial to the company, the influencer, and the influencer’s followers. 

Newly Issued “Disclosures 101 for Social Media Influencers”

Cognizant of the rapidly changing marketing landscape, the FTC recently released a new publication, “Disclosures 101 for Social Media Influencers.”  These guidelines, which should be considered cumulatively with the FTC’s previously issued endorsement guidelines, set forth when an influencer’s relationship with a company needs to be disclosed, how to appropriately disclose such information, and the content that must be included in the disclosure.  Ultimately, the disclosure is intended ensure that the influencer’s followers understand that they are viewing sponsored content.  If you are being paid to promote products or services through either a personal or professional social media account, you need to comply with the FTC’s endorsement and disclosure guidelines.

My next article will focus on the nature of the relationship between companies that hire others to create sponsored social media posts and the individuals being engaged for this purpose.   Where is the line between customer and business partner?  At what point does a purported professional business offer devolve into an unfair marketing practice?

In the meantime, if you would like additional guidance on how to develop transparent and compliant sponsored content, please contact me.