Federal Law for Influencers

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) could fine you for promoting a product without revealing why you are promoting it (money, gifts, etc). This applies even to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts. Ironically, this Sponsored Content disclosure requirement doesn’t apply to TV. From FTC:

“Do you work with brands to recommend or endorse products?

If so, you need to comply with the law when making these recommendations.
One key is to make a good disclosure of your relationship to the brand. This brochure from FTC staff gives tips on when and how to make good disclosures.

The FTC works to stop deceptive ads, and its Endorsement Guides go into detail about how advertisers and endorsers can stay on the right side of the law.If you endorse a product through social media, your endorsement message should make it obvious when you have a relationship (“material connection”) with the brand.

A “material connection” to the brand includes a personal, family, or employment relationship or a financial relationship – such as the brand paying you or giving you free or discounted products or services.

Telling your followers about these kinds of relationships is important because it helps keep your recommendations honest and truthful, and it allows people to weigh the value of your endorsements.

As an influencer, it’s your responsibility to make these disclosures, to be familiar with the Endorsement Guides, and to comply with laws against deceptive ads. Don’t rely on others to do it for you.”

Click to read more from the FTC at: https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/plain-language/1001a-influencer-guide-508_1.pdf

And here’s John Oliver talking about the issue (NSFW):

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