FTC Guidelines Updates are Changing Influencer Marketing Forever – What You Need to Know so Your Brand Can Can Stay Ahead of The Game

FTC Guidelines

Feeling overwhelmed with trying to keep up with ever changing influencer marketing? 

Social platforms come out with new features you want to incorporate in your marketing every day. 

Content trends pop up every time you turn around.

There’s a new up and coming influencer in the spotlight every time you refresh your feed.

All this, and you have to ensure all the content your brand produces follows convoluted  FTC guidelines and platform specific requirements? 

Before you throw up your hands and give up on the most effective form of marketing, keep reading, as we want to help guide you through the most recent proposed changes.

We get it. We know exactly how difficult it is to build and scale brands. Our mission at InfluenceLogic is to help brands maximize revenue and growth across all social media channels. We manage all the details so you can focus on your zone of genius.

At InfluenceLogic we help build, grow and manage influencer programs end-to-end, including one superpower that makes us unique from other performance marketing agencies… a full team dedicated to the world of compliance. 

You might be thinking, what does compliance even mean and why should you care?

With new advertising channels comes regulations intended to protect consumers. 

In the United States, we have the Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, to set guidelines and uphold regulations. Other countries have similar institutions, such as the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) in the United Kingdom and the CCC (Competition and Consumer Commission) in Australia.

Social media platforms, brands and content creators are all required to comply with these regulations. 

Compliance, from the brands perspective, is simply ensuring that all content produced on behalf of your brand will meet these regulations. If guidelines are not followed by the influencers you sponsor, brands are subject to penalties and depending on the severity of the infraction, lawsuits with multi million dollar settlements. 

The FTC is serious about upholding these regulations. 

In February of 2020, the FTC issued a statement warning that undisclosed influencer endorsements are subject to financial penalties. 

As recently as October 2021, the FTC sent out warning statements to hundreds of businesses for not following guidelines.

In May 2022, the FTC recently announced their plans to update the guidelines for Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Previously these guidelines focused more on traditional endorsements but these updates are more specific to influencer endorsements.

So what are the actual changes? You can read the full brief here, but for the TL;DR, here’s what will impact your business.

#1 – Guidelines are no longer advisory, but mandatory.

As mentioned above, the FTC is cracking down on brands and influencers that are not following the guidelines. These guidelines apply to all social networks, including Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. If you’re not following the regulations with all your content on any of these platforms, this could come with a hefty price tag. 

#2 – Advertisers are liable, not just influencers.

Brands will now have to take extra precautions to ensure creators are properly disclosing the financial relationship as well as not making any false claims, otherwise it’s your reputation on the line with the fines that come along with it.

#3 – More strict guidelines for acceptable disclosures.

What this will look like exactly is still to be determined but what we do know is that platform specific integrated disclosures, think YouTube’s Paid Promotion box, are being scrutinized for not being an adequate or transparent disclosure. Additionally, there have been propositions to reduce many of the current acceptable disclosures and require specific disclosures – i.e. Ad or sponsored may be the only acceptable disclosures moving forward.

Sounds like a lot right? We agree. 

That’s why InfluenceLogic built a team of experts that focus exactly on this, so you don’t have to.

At InfluenceLogic, our Compliance Department ensures that all content not only showcases your brand exactly how you’d like it to, but that all content follows the most recent FTC guidelines. 

Every piece of content is reviewed multiple times before posting and at regular intervals following publication to ensure that current guidelines are still met even after the video is published.

Creators are regularly reviewed for brand safety and their content checked for the most up to date compliance standards. If any content should be out of compliance, our team works directly with the creator to get the content fixed so the brand has less legal liability.

We want your brand identity to be front and center so content will feel as authentic as possible, so we hold regular syncs with our brands to ensure content always stays in compliance without sacrificing on alignment with the brand’s mission. 

Despite the many challenges that influencer marketers face, we’re excited to be pioneers in this space and look forward to helping you build a long lasting growth channel for your brand.

What do you think of these updates or have a compliance question? Email us at compliance@influencelogic.com and we would love to hear what you think or answer your questions!

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