FTC Guidelines for Sponsored Content: 5 Things You Need to Know
The Federal Trade Commission, otherwise known as the FTC, recently updated their Influencer Social Media guidelines for the first time since 2009. Here are five things you need to know for your next influencer campaign!!
1. Where should #ad appear in sponsored content?
#ad / Ad / AD should be above the fold – a user should not have to click “more” in a post caption to find the required #ad disclosure.
2. Voice overs need disclosure, too
If there is a voice over in the video, there needs to be a verbal disclosure of paid partnership in addition to #ad or “BRAND Partner” on screen.
3. Disclosure in images might also be required
If the picture on an Instagram post conveys an endorsement without the viewer having to read the accompanying description, and many viewers don’t read the description, a disclosure in the description could be inadequate. You MIGHT need a disclosure superimposed over the picture. Also, if an Instagram post makes an endorsement in a video, there should be a disclosure in the video, preferably both visually and audibly.
4. Text overlays need be used across all sponsored content
Text overlays need to be utilized across all platforms, and they need to be aligned with the endorsement itself (ex: showing product on screen). The overlay text needs to be large enough and on screen long enough to read. Needs to be contrasting with the rest of the video.
5. Influencer disclosure responsibility lies with the brand and the influencer
The big-picture point is that the ultimate responsibility for clearly and conspicuously disclosing a material connection between the brand and the influencer rests with the influencer and the brand – not the social media platform. To be on the safe side, it’s always best to add your own disclosure even if a platform offers its own disclosure tool.
Have more burning questions? The FTC has an extensive FAQ section on their website here.