The FTC just released new disclosure guidelines for online influencers. These apply to anyone and everyone who does any kind of advertising on any form of social media including blogs, videos, and live streams.
Here is a video the FTC put together to help explain the guidelines. See below for more information including examples of disclosures.
When to Disclose
- Disclose when you have any financial, employment, personal, or family relationship with a brand.
- If a brand gives you free or discounted products or other perks and then you mention one of its products, make a disclosure even if you weren’t asked to mention that product.
- Make disclosures even if you think your evaluations are unbiased.
- Keep in mind that tags, likes, pins, and similar ways of showing you like a brand or product are endorsements.
How to Disclose
Written endorsement, make sure people will see and understand the disclosure. Place it so it’s hard to miss. The disclosure should be placed with the endorsement message itself. Don’t mix your disclosure into a group of hashtags or links.
Photo endorsement on a platform like Snapchat and Instagram Stories, superimpose the disclosure over the picture and make sure viewers have enough time to notice and read it.
Video endorsement, the disclosure should be in the video and not just in the description uploaded with the video. It should be written and audible both. Some people watch with no sound and will not hear the disclosure and some people will not watch and therefore not see the disclosure so do both.
Live stream endorsement, the disclosure should be repeated periodically so viewers who only see part of the stream will get the disclosure.
Examples of Disclosures
Brand XYZ sent me a free gadget for me to review. Here are my thoughts…
Brand XYZ paid me to write this post. This is a sponsored post.
Tweet – Have you seen this great gadget from XYZ. It might make a great gift for your husband. #XYZPartner
Tweet – Thanks to Brand XYZ for sending me this free gadget. You can read my review here bt.ly/opop
Tags like #Ad #Advertisement and #Sponsored are still good to use.
Facebook – #Ad Brand XYZ is having a sale on these great gadgets.
Facebook – Brand XYZ gave me this doll that my daughter is playing with for free. You can get one here for a discount if you use my code.
Don’t assume that a platform’s disclosure tool is good enough, but consider using it in addition to your own. It’s better to be safe than sorry so always use a disclosure.
For more information visit this FTC article