New FTC guidelines impact human and virtual influencers

In case you missed it: the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) just unveiled a makeover of their Endorsement Guides to keep marketers and advertisers above board when it comes to paid partnerships. The biggest changes affect influencers and content creators directly after several years of enjoying rather lax regulation.

  1. Up until recently, influencers flew under the radar by simply including an “#ad” hashtag at the end of a sponsored content caption. Now, the FTC expects that disclosure to be “clear, conspicuous, and unavoidable” to the average consumer. This means that the disclosure has to be visible in a caption before it cuts off at “more.”
  1. It’s no longer sufficient to rely on a social media platform’s built-in disclosure tools, like tagging an influencer tagging a company as a “collaborator.”
  1. When it comes to kids, the FTC is mandating that the disclosure be even clearer so that the most vulnerable consumers are aware of paid partnerships.
  1. The FTC has their eyes on virtual influencers, too. Even AI-generated content creators are under the same scrutiny.

When in doubt: disclose, disclose, disclose. 

If you’re working with influencers on current campaigns, make sure they are aware of the changes and have adequate and appropriate language to disclose the nature of their relationship with you.

Send us a message if you’re unsure!

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