This episode is sponsored by Hashtag Legal. Contact Hashtag Legal to set up a consult to assist with your questions about the FTC.
Suppose you meet someone who tells you about a great new product. She tells you it performs wonderfully and offers fantastic new features that nobody else has. Would that recommendation factor into your decision to buy the product? Probably.
Now suppose the person works for the company that sells the product – or has been paid by the company to tout the product. Would you want to know that when you’re evaluating the endorser’s glowing recommendation? You bet. That common-sense premise is at the heart of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Endorsement Guides.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and their guidelines for disclosure have been a hot topic for some time in the world of influencer marketing. Earlier this year, the FTC made clear that they were taking proper disclosure seriously, sending out a round of letters warning influencers who had material relationships with brands they endorsed that they could be fined (up to $40,000!) for non-compliance.
That fine may be a drop in the bucket for top-tier Instagram celebrities, but it’s significant motivation for influencers, networks and business owners to take the time to ensure they fully understand and are handling disclosures correctly. Another significant motivation: proper disclosure means that you are being honest with your readers, followers or customers. Quite simply, it is the ethical thing to do.
Some instances requiring disclosure you might not have considered:
To help clarify the how, when and why to disclose, the FTC recently addressed questions during a public Twitter chat. From the number of questions we’ve seen asked and have continued to personally receive, however, it’s clear that some lingering confusion remains. That’s why this week on the Businessese Influencer Marketing Podcast, we’re covering the updated FTC guidelines for disclosure and what they mean for you and your business.
In this episode, we go over:
- the purpose of the Federal Trade Commission and how they protect consumers
- an easy way to gauge if a disclosure is necessary
- three rules for disclosures
- how to properly word your disclosure on different platforms
- the impact of paid tools (like Facebook’s “handshake”) on your need to disclose.
Still have questions about the FTC and disclosure? Ask away in our private Facebook group, Businessese HQ.