The Cost Of Losing Control: FTC Compliance & Your Influencer Marketing Campaigns.

This month, there’s been a lot of buzz around the recent Federal Trade Commission crackdowns.  Big names like Warner Bros. and Lord & Taylor are being accused of violating FTC disclosure guidelines and running “deceptive” influencer marketing campaigns. With so many of our brands clients using GroupHigh to manage their influencer outreach and management efforts, we’ve started getting more and more questions around FTC guidelines as these under-fire companies begin settling the charges against them.

The takeaway from the recent crackdowns isn’t just that influencers yield incredible value as amplified marketing channels and that the FTC is paying close legal attention, but that the responsibility to comply lands primarily on the brands so ensuring diligence with sponsorship statements via agency or in-house efforts is paramount to avoiding unnecessary risk.

So what can we as brands working in the influencer space learn from these crackdowns and what can we do to ensure full FTC compliance?

Boiled down, the point of influencer marketing is to generate positive PR.

  • If you’re a brand manager or marketing director running influencer marketing campaigns in-house, figure out what guidelines need to be followed specific to each platform your sponsored content is being produced and shared on. More importantly, be transparent and clear with your communication with the influencers you’re working with. If you’re running an opt-in influencer network, provide guideline information upon influencer sign-up.
  • If you’re working with a PR agency to manage your brand’s influencer partnerships, don’t lose control. Build a relationship around shared and concise values and check in with your agency managers periodically to see if any updates have been made in regards to the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

For a complete breakdown of the Federal Trade Commission’s Guide Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising, please visit:

https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/attachments/press-releases/ftc-publishes-final-guides-governing-endorsements-testimonials/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf

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