May 22, 2024

Influencer Marketing is a growing trend, which has led to the creation of more rules for managing partnerships. These rules are aimed at protecting consumers and bringing order to this new form of advertising. Social media influencers are often the first to recommend products to consumers. Digital agencies will be happy to hear this! This also means that there is more responsibility in terms of contracting influencers or influencer endorsements.

Federal Trade Commission is a bipartisan federal agency. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is a bipartisan agency within the federal government. Its primary purpose is to protect consumers and promote competition in the United States economy while also working with international organizations to keep an eye on the global economic situation. The FTC is responsible for protecting consumers through investigations, policies, and education.

To protect consumers further on Instagram and other social media platforms, the FTC created guidelines about how and when influencers must disclose advertisements. Influencers are encouraged to be as transparent with their audiences as possible, especially when recommending or endorsing products. The FTC is going to be looking for any misleading ads. The FTC will be looking into any deceptive ads.

Disclosures :

The FTC recently published Disclosures 101 for social media influencers to help marketers understand the FTC guidelines and best practices for influencer agencies’ marketing. The guide contains new documents and videos that summarize the FTC’s expectations for marketers.

The FTC clarifies what exchanges require disclosure and provides both examples of effective and ineffective disclosure. The guide details the different ways in which an influencer’s relationship with a particular brand could require disclosure and reminds influencers they can’t assume their followers are aware of these connections. The FTC defines an influencer-brand relationship as “material connections” that include receiving free products or discounts, receiving discounted services, or being paid money.

Why is it important to disclose relationships?

No one likes to feel that they have been misled or tricked into buying a product. When making a purchase decision, people appreciate being able to gather all of the necessary information. Influencers who disclose their relationship with a brand can help consumers determine the credibility of an advertisement. The credibility of the ad can be questioned if it is not properly informed. Influencers are in charge of managing the relationships that they have with their followers. As marketers, we should be looking for influencers who have a following and know that they wouldn’t post something that they didn’t believe.

Create a document with guidelines that outline the appropriate disclosure messages for partners. This will ensure your influencers are doing their job. It is their responsibility to disclose in their posts, but it is their job as marketers to manage the “material relationship” to ensure clarity. You will have more success if you are more specific.

Tips for influencers on when and how to tell their fans about a relationship with a brand

Influencers cannot make claims about products if they are not supported by science.

  • Influencers cannot claim that a product is a cure for ill health or has certain benefits. Advertising is when they promote a product that was given to them. By making false claims about the product, the consumer will be misled.
  • CBD products are very important. Many people claim that CBD can cure anxiety. This is a false statement that has not been scientifically proven. If the brand with which you work has no strict messaging, then it’s up to the marketer to suggest that they do.

If an influencer receives payment to promote a product they dislike, they cannot lie and claim they love it.

  • The product is not required to be disclosed, but the recommendation must be truthful.
  • If it’s a heavy face lotion, you can say it’s hydrating and feels great on your skin. But they don’t have to say that it’s their favorite product.

Influencers cannot talk about brands/products they haven’t used

  • Influencers cannot talk about products or brands they haven’t used.
  • Talk to your clients about the amount of product they are comfortable sending. This early conversation will help you avoid partnering with influencers when the brand cannot afford to ship products.

Use simple, clear language.

  • When they are merged into a sentence, simple explanations may be missed. Influencers need to be very clear with the consumer about whether this product is being advertised or given away.
  • When placed at the start of the caption, hashtags like #ad,#sponsored, and #advertisement make it clear. It is not mandatory to use these hashtags, but it’s a good way to ensure that your audience understands what you are saying. The disclosure should be placed in a prominent place.
  • Avoid hashtags: #sp#spon#collab
  • These terms are not well-defined and may be confusing for those unfamiliar with them.

Avoid using beauty filters in advertising beauty and skincare products

  • The Advertising Standards Agency of the U.K. banned influencers in February 2021 from using beauty filters to advertise beauty products. This is due to the fact that they can exaggerate a product’s effect. Influencers who still wish to use filters must disclose when they do so.
  • The campaign #filterdrop, although not officially banned in the U.S., has encouraged influencers and brands to be more transparent when using filters or advertising their products.

Final Thoughts

Staying up-to-date with the FTC guidelines is important as influencer marketing continues its growth, and consumers expect brands to be transparent about their campaigns. The marketer is ultimately responsible for holding influencer partners accountable for disclosing relationships in their content. The more evident it is, then the better.

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