Why Influencers Should Use Disclaimers in Promoted Posts

Both the US and Canada have specific rules around disclosure for bloggers when they participate in social media outreach campaigns in exchange for any form of payment, and whether influencers should use disclaimers in promoted posts.  Compensation can be cash, free products, access to events, discounts, free services, coupons etc.  In the US, you need to consult FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”.  In Canada, blogging currently falls under the Competition Act.  The CMA Code of Ethics  and the WOMMA Code of Ethics are also good sources for blogger guidelines in Canada and the US respectively.

How Influencers Should Use Disclaimersuse disclaimers in promoted posts

Now I wouldn’t want to stop you from reading these documents, particularly if you’re looking for material to put you to sleep.  It’s absolutely incredible how much spew has been created on this subject because it’s really quite simple and boils down to this:

  • Bloggers should disclose that they are in a commercial relationship when they are compensated to endorse a product or service.
  • Marketers should have a company wide social media policy that encompasses social media outreach, and bloggers should be compliant with that policy.
  • Bloggers and marketers are responsible for mandating a disclosure policy and ensuring they are in compliance with it.
  • Your policy should be easy to read and understand

It’s Not That Hard To Do

These guidelines are tough to enforce and frankly this has not been an issue with blogger outreach campaigns in social media; and we don’t want it to be!   InNetwork recommends that bloggers are transparent with the consumer and clearly disclose their relationship with the marketer. It makes common sense to not only protect your respective brands, but also build trust by being on the right side of this issue.

Oh, and it’s really not that hard to do.  Here’s a footnote example from Lucy Izon of CanadaCool.com fame when she participated in an OLG outreach campaign:  

I travelled to Casino Rama as a guest of OLG and was paid for my time, provided with the $750 Entertainment Card to give to a Canada Cool follower.”.

What do you think? Will you do paid reviews? Will you post that you’ve been paid if you do? Why or why not? Please leave a comment below!

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