The 5 W’s to Following FTC Guidelines for Creators
In light of the Kardashian's recent run-in with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), I thought it would be appropriate to give some tips to make sure your posts are legal. In case you don't keep up with the Kardashians, you can check out what happened here. (TLDR version: The Kardashian/Jenner family generated millions off social media posts that aren't FTC compliant, and now the FTC is cracking down on social media endorsements.)
So here's the quick run down to avoid making the same mistakes:
WHO: both brands and creators can be held liable for not adhering to FTC laws, so please keep each other accountable during collaborations
WHAT: make sure to hashtag #ad, #sponsored, #sp, #client, or #paid to indicate that a post is in fact a paid collaboration.
For example, Kim Kardashian used the word "partnering", which was deemed too vague. Surprisingly though, simply adding the hashtags #sweepstake or #contest would suffice for any sponsored social media contests.
WHEN: these hashtags need to be included whenever there is a form of compensation involved with a post. This includes, but is not only limited to, free products, gifts, complimentary services, money, free trips, discounts, etc.
WHERE: the FTC uses the language "clear and conspicuous" when addressing the format and location of the disclosure.
First of all, it must be in the language that the actual endorsement is in, so you can't #patrocinado when the rest of your post is in English.
Additionally, it's not enough to have a statement in your bio alone. The hashtags must be added to every single compensated post you publish. Similarly, for YouTube videos, mentioning a sponsorship in the description bar does not suffice. Rather, it must be noticeably placed or clearly stated in the video itself.
Whether it's YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, etc., the disclosure must always be easily visible and understood. No fonts that blend in with the background or tiny, barely-detectable fonts. Also, please note that hyperlinks to the brand's website or even to a full disclosure do not count either.
NOTICE THAT ROSEANDBEN ADDS #AD TO BOTH POST, EVEN THOUGH IT'S FOR THE SAME BRAND
WHY: the laws help ensure truthful advertising and are in place to protect consumers. As always, making false claims is illegal, and you can be held liable for your claims.
There you go! For the official language on endorsement disclosures, you can check out the FTC's website. Happy Posting!
Also, remember to hit follow on our Twitter and Instagram at the handle @Revfluence and keep checking back for more favorites and tips for your brand or creator profile. 😊