Five Legal Tips for Influencers
The average person is bombarded with 5,000 ads a day. You’ve got “lifestyle” gurus from all over the world trying to influence your style, beauty product purchases, home design, food choices, travel spots, and the list goes on. While brands are hesitant to place disclosures all over influencers pages because let’s face it, ads are more appealing without disclosures. No one watches TV with sixty-second commercials anymore. Honestly, who has that kind of time or attention span? The boundaries have become blurred for consumers, marketers, and influencers as to what it means to be an advertisement. So, what happens if you don’t follow the rules? The usual line-up of consequences: fines and damages, litigation, and possibly bankruptcy. Basecamp Legal has put together five legal tips for influencers to help them navigate these tricky waters.
- If you post sponsored content: disclose, disclose, and disclose again. Not doing so can lead to gigantic fines. Using hashtags #ad, #sponsored, and #paid are a good idea. These must be clear and conspicuous in the post #andnotbetweenabunchofotherhashtags so put them first.
- Which leads to, people sending you free stuff with the expectation of the review- this falls under a material incentive and you must disclose that fact.
- If you pay for something, actually like it, and are just giving your opinion, then you do not need to worry about it.
- If you choose to run contests or giveaways, make sure you know the rules of the game. The Federal Trade Commission is very picky about contests and giveaways. Also, social media and other e-commerce platforms also have their own rules about contests and giveaways. If you break them, you risk account suspension.
- Have a detailed contract between you and the brand you are representing. Who owns the intellectual property you are posting? How long is the deal? Is there exclusivity? All things to think about and know up front. The more detailed, the better.