Advertising & Endorsement Disclosure in Influencer Marketing: What You Need to Know

Dontae Mears

06 Mar 2019 · 3 min read


In the lawless lands of classic Western movies, outlaws could go about their robberies with impunity—and in the early days of influencer marketing, popular Snapchat and Instagram users enjoyed a similar freedom to promote products without disclosing that brands were compensating them. But we aren’t in the Wild Wild West anymore.

For years, the FTC has required some form of online disclosure related to paid endorsements. And recently, the agency has ramped up its enforcement of the law, increasing the frequency of crackdowns on creators and companies that don’t follow the rules.

Agencies and brands, we know you don’t want to appear in headlines like these:

As Reuters and others have reported, the FTC’s actions over the last year or two illustrate “an escalation of the agency’s interest in so-called social media ‘influencers.’” This is no coincidence. Thanks to its proven impact and efficiency, influencer or creator marketing is an increasingly popular way for brands to reach their target audiences—and the number of influencer partnerships is increasing accordingly. Sponsored content on social media has become sufficiently ubiquitous that The Atlantic has reported on users seeking “influencer status” by faking it, sharing content that purports to be advertising when in fact no brand association exists.

Naturally, we have been paying attention. And we have knowledge to share. Below you’ll find our guide to navigating the murky waters of advertising and endorsement disclosures in influencer marketing.

When is a disclosure required?

What are the guidelines for disclosures?

As with most elements of influencer or creator marketing, the rules around disclosures could change as platforms react to the increase in this type of sponsored content. Check back with us, because we’ll keep this guide updated—and help you stay on the right side of the law.

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