Influencers and brands must clearly disclose their relationship. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) notified influencers earlier this year that simply using a hashtag like “#sp,” or words like “Thanks [Brand],” or “#partner” in a social media post is insufficient to comply with FTC laws. Recent events like the Fyre Festival and related $100M class action lawsuits, have raised the visibility of the issue of influencer promotion and FTC compliance.
To all my friends who are influencers. Beware. Formal notice has been given. You must “clearly and conspicuously” disclose all endorsements for consideration.
Learn more about proper influencer/brand hashtags in this post by the FTC. Click here to learn more about your obligations under FTC law as an influencer.
Social Media Influencer Liability by Mitch Jackson
Influencer Marketing- Tips for Influencers, Social Media Agencies, Brands and Consumers by Mitch Jackson
Earlier this year I shared a post, “Social Media Influencer Liability.” It focused on legal liability issues facing influencers and shared tips to help them make smart decisions.
Based upon what recently happened with the Fyre Festival, I thought I’d share these additional legal tips to help everyone in the process protect themselves. Different players in the promotion and consumption chain have different levels of liability exposure and so I hope you find these tips useful.
Things Brands Should Think About
If using a social media agency as an intermediary, enter into a written influence marketing agreement with the agency. In addition to all the standard terms and conditions, make sure your agreement also contains the following clauses:
- Clearly state that the social media agency is responsible for the influencer being made aware, in writing, of and following all local, state, and international marketing rules and regulations. This includes FTC requirements.
- Specify what the social media agency and influencer can and cannot do. While you want to give the influencer flexibility to do what he or she does best, you also need to set clear boundaries as to what is and is not permitted.
- Specify that the social media agency and influencer both secure liability insurance.
- A liability waiver and indemnity agreement should be part of your agreement. Thus, if the influencer breaks the law or acts in a way the creates liability, and you get dragged into a claim or lawsuit, the social media agency and influencer both agree to provide your defense and reimburse you for all claims, expenses, and damages.
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