A number of social-media influencers have been reprimanded by regulators about not offering clear-enough disclosures about their commercial relationships. Now the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has published a guide – ‘Disclosures 101 for Social Media Influencers‘ – which aims to keep them on the right side of advertising regulations there.

It’s a plain-language summary of the FTC’s existing guidance to influencer disclosures, complete with accompanying videos and advice on when and how to disclose. For example: “Simple explanations like ‘Thanks to Acme brand for the free product’ are often enough if placed in a way that is hard to miss. So are terms like ‘advertisement,’ ‘ad,’ and ‘sponsored.’” explains the guide. “It’s fine (but not necessary) to include a hashtag with the disclosure, such as #ad or #sponsored. Don’t use vague or confusing terms like ‘sp,’ ‘spon,’ or ‘collab,’ or stand-alone terms like ‘thanks’ or ‘ambassador,’ and stay away from other abbreviations and shorthand when possible.” The guide is very useful reading for any music marketers working with influencers, even outside the US.

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