This week, NAD released five tips on influencer marketing. Here are the tips, followed by some of our own observations.
1. When working with influencers or incentivizing consumers to review your product, you may be responsible for the content of their posts.
As we’ve noted in the past, if you work with an influencer or provide incentives to consumers in exchange for reviews, you could be held liable for what the influencers (or consumers) do or don’t do. More on that below.
2. Tell influencers or consumers to disclose their material connection with you and monitor them to make sure they do.
We’ve covered this topic in various posts. By now, you should know that it’s important to tell influencers and consumers about their disclosure requirements. Your responsibilities don’t stop there, though. You also need to make sure that influencers and consumers comply with these requirements. The most recent FTC settlement goes into more detail on monitoring.
3. Disclosures should be in plain, easily understandable language.
Although you have some flexibility in what disclosures are used, keep in mind that jargon or abbreviations that typical consumers may not understand are not enough. Also, keep in mind that that although hashtags like #ad are popular, a plain-English disclosure – such as “thanks to Brand for sending me this product to try” – work, too.
4. Make sure the disclosure is readable or audible at the same time as the endorsement message.
As the most recent FTC settlement demonstrates, the disclosures should appear at the outset of the post and should be visible without consumers having to click on anything. And a recent NAD decision illustrates that it’s important to make sure that the disclosure will “travel” with the endorsement if it’s shared on a different platform.
5. When interacting with influencers or consumers reviewing your product, make sure you are not conveying a misleading message.
Remember that you could be held responsible for any claims made by influencers or consumers, even if you didn’t approve them. Consider providing guidelines to help stay away from problematic claims.
You should also think carefully about how you interact with reviews, even if you didn’t incentivize them. NAD writes that if consumers post reviews with claims that you can’t support, you should be careful not to interact with those reviews in a way that suggests you agree with the claims. Instead, consider removing reviews that make unsubstantiated claims, if they appear on your platforms.