The FTC is cracking down on social media influencers—what you need to know

October 9, 2017

Affiliate Managers, Agencies, Marketing Teams

The FTC announced last month that social media Influencers must disclose when advertising a product or service.

Have you discussed what you can and can not legally say on social media?

In the past we shared how Big Brother is alive and well in paid search advertising. This time the FTC, who is in charge of compliance with fair marketing practices, is cracking down on social media Influencer’s. They’ll make you pay, literally, if you (or your affiliates) fail to comply with their rules for advertising.

On September 7th, the FTC set a new precedent by settling charges against individual social media influencers for the first time. The ruling means social media influencers need to unambiguously disclose their connections to brands and companies they are promoting.

The FTC also sent warning letters to 21 unnamed Instagram influencers stating that connections between themselves and the products they are endorsing “should be clearly and conspicuously disclosed” per the FTC’s Endorsement Guides.

The FTC updated their guidelines to cover any person who would be considered an Influencer on social media sites, including YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Twitch, and Snapchat. If users violate the guidelines, they could be charged by the FTC, especially those who have previously been warned.

Why Does it Matter?

These such cases show that the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) is broadening its definition of unfair and deceptive trade practices to include social media advertising.

We can help you use ad monitoring technology to catch these violations before the FTC comes knocking on your door.

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