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.