What is FTC Disclosure?

In the post How Do Pet Influencers Work with Brands, I mentioned understanding and applying FTC Disclosure.

In late 2020, after an investigation by the UK Competition and Markets Authority, Instagram vowed to do more to protect consumers by making sure influencers disclose partnerships with brands.

To me, it’s not worth the risk of alienating my audience or having Instagram take drastic action on my account because I did not disclose the relationship I have with the brand that I’m mentioning in my posts, Stories, IGTV, or Reels.

Here’s a quick way to know if you need to disclose:

  • A brand sends you free product in exchange for a post – disclose.
  • A brand will pay you a commission for a sale through your link or with your designated code – disclose.
  • A brand pays you money to post about their product – disclose.
  • You bought a product you love and shared about it on social media tagging the brand who has no clue you exist – no disclosure needed.

Additionally, you want to disclose before the fold — on Instagram or Facebook this would be before you have to click more to read the whole caption.

  • #ad AD [AD]
  • #gifted [gifted]
  • #sponsored [sponsored]
  • #brandpartner [brandpartner]
  • #affiliate [affiliate]
  • #brandambassador [brandambassador]

With Instagram rolling out new measures to ensure all influencers are properly disclosing, you’ll see more prompts asking if this is a brand partnership or if a brand should be tagged.

At this point, most viewers of Instagram know an account is working with brands, so there is no need to fool yourself that if hide the relationship to the brand, your audience will like you more.

Disclosing has worked to my advantage because agencies and brands have noticed my work and know that I properly disclose so I’m not putting the brand at risk.

When in doubt disclose.

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