Last month the FTC held a Twitter chat titled #Influencers101 to answer questions about disclosures, and they revealed a number of acceptable ways to disclose your relationship with a brand. We’ve written about disclosures before here and here, and we’re back again to talk about everyone’s favorite topic.
Here are some of the biggest takeaways from #Influencers101:
#ad is sufficient IF it’s easily noticeable.
Don’t try to hide your #ad amongst a slew of other hashtags. You can also use “ad” without the # but the same requirement applies: it must be visible and hard to miss. Your safest bet is to place it near the beginning of your caption.
If you’re working with a brand, you have to disclose even if you’re not paid.
If you got free product or any other sort of benefit, you need to disclose that. Even if there was no requirement to post or review anything.
For sponsored Snapchat or Instagram stories, disclosure on the first photo is sufficient.
Disclosing clearly and noticeably in the first photo is enough-- but since there’s no guarantee that people click through all of your story, do not save your disclosure for the end.
If a brand provides products for a giveaway you’re hosting, you must disclose.
Simply state that the brand partnered with you for the giveaway or that they provided the prizes.
The new built-in disclosures on Instagram, Facebook, or Youtube are not sufficient.
What matters is whether or not the tool clearly and conspicuously discloses the relationship. The FTC staff does not believe at this time that any of those platforms are doing that well enough to cover your disclosure requirements.
Do not use ambiguous terminology.
“Thanks,” #collab, #spon #sp, and #ambassador are all insufficient disclosures.
Instead, stop trying to sweep it under the rug and just be undeniably clear.
Use #ad, #sponsored, #XXpartner or state “company XX gave/gifted me this product to try”.
The fact is that your followers can probably tell when your content is sponsored anyways, so there’s no point in trying to be sly about it. Just own up to it-- the honesty will likely earn your followers’ trust.
Creative Community Developer at Snapfluence.
I'm the Oxford comma's biggest fan.