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The FTC Releases Simplified Guide for Social Media Influencer Disclosures

Affiliate Managers, Agencies, Finance & Insurance, Marketing Teams
We have talked for years about the importance of you and your partners and affiliates staying in compliance with federal regulations.

Now more than ever, with the abundance of social media influencers, this topic is crucial. This week, the FTC (the group in charge of regulating online ads) released a new guide, Disclosures 101 For Social Media Influencers. The guide includes tips on when and how to make good disclosures. Click here to download the PDF.

ftc disclosures

The guide specifically covers:
  • When to disclose
  • How to disclose
  • Other do's and don'ts
If you are an influencer, remember that 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.

If you are an advertiser that works with influencers, you are also responsible for what your affiliates and partners claim and do and do not disclose. Don't just assume your influencers are complying—educate them and monitor their activity.

Watch this video for more:

3 Simple Ways To Make Advertising Partners Comply with Federal Ad Regulations

1. Educate partners

Share this guide with your partners and repeat often. It should be required reading for all influencers you work with. Make it abundantly clear how serious their compliance is and what the repercussions are for violations. From our experience at The Search Monitor, many advertisers are simply unaware that they need to devote time and resources to partner education. And partners are 100% focused on driving revenue for their advertisers, so they appreciate learning the do's and don'ts of federal ad regulations.

2. Monitor partners

There can be thousands of locations where content is published, such as email, landing pages, blogs, social media, mobile and video. Monitoring all of these marketing channels is tricky to do manually, but it becomes quite efficient if you deploy an automated rules-based monitoring solution. Make sure your monitoring covers:

  • Claims: Make sure your affiliates’ claims are factual. The CFPB and FTC pay especially close attention to financial, health, high-performance and environmental claims.
  • Disclosure: Make sure your affiliates’ offers properly disclose all key fees and product claims. Disclosures relating to claims or offers must be clear and conspicuous.
  • Endorsements: Make sure affiliate endorsements are honest and transparent about their connection with the advertiser.

3. Optimize and enforce partner relationships

If you’ve found partner violations of federal rules and have given sufficient warning, it’s time to remove these partners from your program and identify new partners. An affiliate network can help with this.

Or, get access to a database of affiliates scored by their compliance history, offered by some content monitoring platforms. Don’t stand for repeat violations. Remove affiliates who break your rules and terminate contracts with partners who violate rules.