FTC - Federal Trade Commission and Influencer Marketing

Article – How will FTC Endorsement Guide Changes Impact Influencer Marketing?

The use of influencers has become a major part of many marketing strategies in recent years. While there has always been a risk in terms of regulatory compliance regarding influencer marketing, businesses could face even more challenges with the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) proposed Endorsement Guide changes. According to a recent article from Kelley Drye

Five Questions for Influencers from Marketers

“Last month, my colleagues posted about the FTC’s proposed changes to the Endorsement Guides. This post takes a closer look at how those proposed changes could impact influencer campaigns by answering five questions that we frequently get from marketers.

What is an endorsement? The FTC provides new guidance on what constitutes an “endorsement.” In one example, an influencer uses a product that a manufacturer sent him for free and comments on it favorably in a video. It’s no surprise that the FTC concludes that the comments constitute an endorsement, but it’s important to note that even more subtle plugs could qualify. For example, the FTC proposes updating the definition of “endorsement” to indicate that “tags in social media posts can be endorsements.”

What must be disclosed? Over the years, there has been debate over what words influencers should use to disclose their connections. The FTC’s proposed edits don’t touch on that, so we’ll have to rely on existing guidance (like this). The FTC notes, however, that although the disclosure of a material connection doesn’t require the “complete details of the connection, it must clearly communicate the nature of the connection sufficiently for consumers to evaluate its significance.” That’s somewhat helpful, but it’s still not clear exactly how much detail the FTC expects.

How must the disclosure be made? The general standard is that disclosures must be “clear and conspicuous.” Marketers who have lamented that the standard is vague will likely not be happy with the FTC’s proposed specificity. For example, the FTC addresses things like font size, placement, contrast, and time on screen. In general, though, disclosures should be easy to see and understand. The FTC also provides a few examples that shouldn’t come as a surprise to those of us who have been following the Commission’s actions in this space.”

To continue reading the full article, click here.

And to review the FTC press release regarding updates to its Endorsement Guides, click here.

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