What are the rules for social media advertising campaigns and the use of influencer endorsements? Seth Williams and Jackie Fisher tackled that question in Media Financial Management’s Town Hall Webinar, #Sponsored: Avoiding Risks in Social Media and Influencer Marketing. Influencer marketing—where individuals use their social media following to generate interest in brands, events, or products—has exploded in the U.S., with some sources valuing the 2022 market at $16.4 billion. Social media marketing is regulated chiefly by the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), whose mandate is to protect consumers from false and deceptive advertisements.
Companies who use influencers to advertise on social media should be aware that such endorsements need to be clearly and conspicuously disclosed. Disclosure is required in any instance where an endorsement is made and there is a material relationship between the brand and the influencers. Advertisers, and sometimes influencers themselves, who fail to make such disclosures may face investigations and fines from the FTC. This is true for the social media presence of broadcasters as well.
With a quickly growing market and a set of proposed updated rules before the FTC, it’s important for companies to ensure that they stay up to date on their social media policies and carefully review their marketing practices.
If you have questions about your company’s social media marketing activity and compliance with applicable rules, please contact your friendly FHH attorney.