FTC issues ad disclosure guidelines for social influencers, aims to reduce deceptive content

November 6, 2019

The Federal Trade Commission released on Tuesday a document and accompanying videos that inform on how and when social media influencers must disclose sponsorships to their followers to comply with federal law.

Titled Disclosures 101 for Social Media Influencers, the guide provides influencers with pointers on when an advertisement disclosure is necessary and offers examples of both effective and ineffective types of disclosures.

Why we should care

There are brand reputation and financial implications to flouting disclosure laws. The FTC has been cracking down on brands and influencers for several years now. The new guide offers details around the legal responsibility of influencers to disclose endorsements in order to provide content transparency for audiences.

The guide is a resource for content creators to quickly reference how, when, and where ad disclosures might be necessary. For example, posts made on behalf of your brand by an influencer should appear with a hashtag such as #advertisement, #ad or #sponsored.

More on the news

  • The document includes the FTC’s Endorsement Guides as well as a previous 2017 question-and-answer document produced by staff.
  • The disclosure onus is on the influencer when they have any financial, employment, personal or family relationship with a brand.
  • Disclosures should be clearly visible and appear with the endorsement messaging.

About The Author

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Taylor Peterson is Third Door Media’s Deputy Editor, managing industry-leading coverage that informs and inspires marketers. Based in New York, Taylor brings marketing expertise grounded in creative production and agency advertising for global brands. Taylor’s editorial focus blends digital marketing and creative strategy with topics like campaign management, emerging formats, and display advertising.

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