The Federal Trade Commission is asking for public comment on whether to change its Endorsement Guides for influencers.
The FTC is set out to release a new Endorsement Guide that will explain all the recommendations for influencer marketing. Its intention is to include and consider public opinion. The FTC wants to provide guides for various issues on influencer marketing such as the manner and cost of promotional posts on social media platforms advertisers and endorsers pay.
The issue of advertising platforms
Several companies make pseudo accounts on various social media platforms including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and others. According to the released statement, some companies launder advertising by paying influencers and asking them to pretend that the endorsement is not in any way financially beneficial for both sides. FTC wants to address the dishonesty that’s prevalent in influencer marketing. Another thing is about underage influencers and as to whether they truly understand what the disclosure agreements mean.
The FTC has long required the influencers to disclose sponsored posts. Despite these guides, advertisers are dismissing the regulations that are in place. For example, a Lord & Taylor campaign paid 50 influencers to post a dress on their Instagram accounts. However, there was no disclosure for the sponsored post. Lord & Taylor was later lightly reprimanded, but the FTC isn’t convinced it was enough.
FTC wants to make the punishment official
The Endorsement guidelines as of now the FTC isn’t putting much pressure on the influencers and brands. To date, there is no exact punishment that can fit each infraction. To combat the dismissal of the guides FTC is considering a change in the guidelines/official rules. This would enforce the punishments in case influencers and brands do not adhere to the stipulates rules.
As per Chopra’s suggestion, the FTC will focus on platforms and advertisers pool. Smaller and starting influencers aren’t much in FTC’s radar just yet. They will be putting attention on companies that violate the law.
What does this mean for you?
Advertisers need to be careful including influencer marketing within their strategy. Influencers, brands, media outlets, have to use clear language and to disclose whether the brands they promote have financial benefits.
Both the advertisers and influencers have a responsibility to convey promotions honestly to their audiences. Their social media posts must not affect the credibility of the brand and impact the purchasing decisions of the customers. Influencer marketing is effective but it must be used in an honest way.