Did You Know? 4 FTC Influencer Guidelines

Note: This is not legal advice. The contents of this post are for informational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is created by accessing this post.

I oftentimes see influencers' posts and wonder whether they are posting ads or not. If I, a fellow influencer, am confused, I can only imagine that their readers and/or followers might not know either.

It might very well be the attorney in me but I do my own research regarding the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) laws and guidelines regarding social media influencers and ads. The last thing I want to be is deceptive to readers and/or (technically) breaking the law.

As I did my research recently, four tips seemed like popular mistakes I've seen made among influencers. I figured I would share them to spread the knowledge:

1. Avoid ambiguous disclosures like #thanks, #collab, #sp, #spon, or #ambassador.
Use the words sponsored, advertisement or ad instead. The general public knows what those mean. Disclosures are required when promoting something (i.e. via Instagram post) for which you received a benefit (free merchandise or pay).

2. Disclose that your post is an advertisement before the "more" link.
People might not click on "more" but they still need to know that they are viewing an ad. Even if they do click on "more," the disclosure will be more visible prior to that button.

3. Tagging a brand you are wearing is an endorsement of the brand and, just like any other endorsement, could require a disclosure if you have a relationship with that brand. 
If you are tagging a brand in a photo of clothing you at one time received for free or compensation,
you should disclose that relationship via a disclosure to your followers/readers.

4.  Each new endorsement (mention) of a product made without a disclosure could be deceptive because readers might not see the original blog post where you said you got the product free from the manufacturer.
This guideline provides the reasoning behind #3. 

So, there you have it. Have you seen or made these mistakes on social media? Do any of the guidelines surprise you? 

1, 2, 4: https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/ftcs-endorsement-guides-what-people-are-asking
3: https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/ftcs-endorsement-guides-what-people-are-asking


  1. I've just started blogging. This seems to be very useful tips for me. Thanks for sharing ��