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WBK Industry News - Federal Regulatory Developments

The FTC Reminds Instagrammers that Endorsements Must be Clearly and Conspicuously Disclosed

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued 90 letters on April 19, 2017, reminding celebrities, athletes, and other influencers (collectively, “Influencers”) that they must clearly and conspicuously disclose their relationship with a brand when promoting that brand on Instagram.

In these letters, the FTC reminded Influencers that any connection, which could affect the weight or credibility a consumer may give to the endorsement, must be clearly and conspicuously disclosed. These “material connections” could include: (1) a business or family relationship; (2) a monetary payment; or (3) free products.

The FTC clarified that an endorsement disclosure should appear in the first three lines of a longer post so the consumer does not have to click the “More” button to see the disclosure, and the Influencer should not hide the disclosure within a string of hashtags.

A template of the letter sent to Influencers can be found here: https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/attachments/press-releases/ftc-staff-reminds-influencers-brands-clearly-disclose-relationship/influencer_template.pdf.