The FTC enforces federal consumer protection laws that prevent fraud, deception and unfair business practices. The Commission also enforces federal antitrust laws that prohibit anti-competitive mergers and other business practices that could lead to higher prices, fewer choices, or less innovation.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government, established in 1914 by the Federal Trade Commission Act. Its principal mission is the promotion of consumer protection and the elimination and prevention of anti-competitive business practices, such as coercive monopoly. Whether combatting telemarketing fraud, Internet scams or price-fixing schemes, the FTC’s mission is to protect consumers and promote competition.
The FTC administers a wide variety of laws and regulations, including the Federal Trade Commission Act, Telemarketing Sale Rule, Identity Theft Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, and Clayton Act. In total, the Commission has enforcement or administrative responsibilities under more than 70 laws.
As a marketer, I personally know the way we reach consumers has become increasingly sophisticated and, in some cases, very creative. It’s because digital marketers are challenged with changing algorithms and shrinking budgets to get their brand’s message in front of the right people. Couple this with demanding KPIs, you create the recipe for somewhat shady marketing and advertising practices. The struggle is real and FTC compliance for Social Media and Influencer Marketing, isn’t a joke!
Influencers have rescued many of us marketers from costly and diminishing returns on ad spend. And, with more and more marketers relying on influencers, their influencer-generated content and distribution, there have been of slew of posts that should be labeled as advertising. That’s an issue. The non-disclosure is a violation of FTC rules – the basis of the “truth-in-advertising” principal.
Not paying attention to influencer marketing compliance puts you in a lot of risk financially with the FTC, makes your content less authentic, and ultimately impacts your brand’s credibility. Only 1 in 10 marketers know sponsored posts should be tagged as ads. And only 56% of marketers were aware of the FTC’s policy and guidelines (eMarketer).
Ignorance certainly isn’t bliss and there are loads of nuances both marketers and influencers need to understand. So where do marketers acquaint themselves with the ins and outs? There’s the FTC but that sounds so formidable. We get it! To help, we hosted a webinar on this very topic “Know Thy Guidelines: FTC Compliance for Influencer Marketing in 2017.” We covered off on the nuances, and there were questions. Lot’s of questions. We have answers, but keep in mind this isn’t legal advice.
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