How should bloggers disclose payment or product trades on review posts? Does our ambassador need to include #ad on her tweet? Are our contest rules displayed properly?
As our clients’ social media and influencer activation programs mature, so does our duty to remain 100 percent on top of the ever-changing Federal Trade Commission (FTC) disclosure rules and regulations.
I am proud to say that GFM worked with expert legal counsel years ago to draft customized FTC guidelines we use in all of our influencer outreach and negotiations—ensuring we do everything in our power to keep clients in compliance.
In fact, in the past year I’ve worked with numerous bloggers across the country who have proactively thanked me for including FTC disclosures in my initial outreach. They noted that many pitches they receive with offers for product or payment make no reference to proper disclosure expectations. And in some cases, these bloggers have turned down working with the brand because agreements about honest disclosure were not made clear upfront. I take both the brand and influencers’ needs for FTC compliance very seriously, as do my teammates here at GFM.
FTC Contest Rules & Regulations
This week I appreciated GroupHigh’s comprehensive blog post about keeping in line with the newest FTC endorsement rules. Most helpful, in my opinion, is the infographic on contests and the updated rules and regulations for disclosure, purchasing Facebook likes, responsibilities for violations, etc. Examples include:
- Use clear and relevant hashtags to disclose the contest. And even more important, do not bury the disclosure hashtag. At GFM we like to say #client right away when sharing client news or promotions.
- Earn, do not purchase, contest likes on Facebook to make it seem like the contest is more popular than it actually is–no matter how tempting or how much pressure you receive.
- Require paid employees who promote the contest to disclose their affiliation to the company. If possible, share approved, pre-written posts for employees to use on their personal channels to make it extremely easy for them to boost traffic without breaking any rules.
Incorporating FTC compliance checks and balances into every aspect of social media and influencer relations is an investment, but an important one you cannot afford to skip.