Several companies, and the influencers they partnered with, have been under fire in recent months for failing to properly disclose paid endorsements in their online content. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires that paid endorsements and reviews be clearly and conspicuously identified as such. Failure to do so is considered an unfair and deceptive trade practice, subject to enforcement and significant penalties imposed by the FTC.
Sponsored online content = advertising, according to the FTC, and therefore must always comply with “truth in advertising” rules.
The FTC’s Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising, codified at 16 C.F.R. Part 255, and additional guidance provided by the FTC specify how the connection between an advertiser and an online influencer are to be disclosed. It is Collective Bias’s policy to require strict adherence by its influencers to the FTC’s guidelines.
To assist brands and influencers in complying, below is a sample of the disclosure requirements.