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Influencer Marketing and the Law Part II: Recent FTC Guidance Directs Brands to Clarify Connections with Social Media Influencers and Reviewers

Endorsements, testimonials and reviews by influencers have become an important marketing tool to attract customers. But brands that employ influencers who post deceiving or misleading content on social media could be found in violation of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act and face potentially significant consequences.

The FTC has been ramping up its education and enforcement efforts in recent years, aimed at both brands and influencers. In 2017, the commission sent staff letters to more than 90 Instagram influencers and advertisers in the fashion, beauty, fitness and food and beverage spaces, reminding them about their joint responsibility to clearly and conspicuously disclose relationships when promoting or endorsing products through social media. The letters and the related educational blog post highlighted the challenges—and the necessity—of making required disclosures within the technological and space limitations of social media.

In this PLI Chronicle article—the second article in a three-part series about influencer marketing laws and regulations—the author, Advanced Media & Technology partner Nerissa Coyle McGinn, discusses recent FTC advertising guidance and how establishing written policies and procedures for posts about products and services will help ensure compliance, provide backup should questions arise and protect brand integrity.  

Click here to read the full article on PLI PLUS.