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Chances are you know an influencer – a person who works with a brand to recommend or endorse a product in social media. Maybe you work at a company that uses influencers or perhaps that describes you, a friend, or a family member. Then you should read a new FTC brochure: Disclosures 101 for Social Media Influencers.

Influencers have an obligation to stay on the right side of the law. If you endorse a product or service through social media, your message should make it obvious when you have a relationship – a “material connection” – with the brand. That could be a personal, family, or employment relationship or a financial relationship – for example, if a brand pays you or gives you free or discounted products.

Disclosures 101 for Social Media Influencers answers the questions you may have about when to disclose, how to disclose, and what else you need to know. It also explains that if you don’t have a relationship with a brand and are just telling people about a product you bought and happen to like, you don’t need to say that you don’t have a brand relationship. (The brochure is also available in Spanish.)

The FTC has more resources about influencers, endorsements, and product reviews. And watch this new video that explains some of the legal basics.

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November 07, 2019
November 06, 2019
How strictly are the Social Media Influencer rules being enforced?
FTC Staff
November 12, 2019

In reply to by Mort

The FTC’s new guide, Disclosures 101 for Social Media Influencers, does not contain rules or regulations. Rather, it is a guide from FTC staff intended to help influencers stay on the right side of the law. In particular, the guide reflects what FTC staff believes that influencers need to do – in terms of when and how to disclose brand relationships – to avoid violations of the FTC Act. That law prohibits, among other things, false or deceptive advertising. The FTC has brought a number of enforcement actions involving deceptive endorsements and testimonials in advertising, including cases where the advertising was in social media, and the agency will continue to be active in this area.

November 06, 2019
I depend on how much you want us to be informed. Thank you.
November 06, 2019
The FTC is hard at work again to protect our rights as citizens and consumers. I had no idea of the help the FTC could provide until I became a victim of identity theft, and now I am a huge proponent of the FTC and the work that they do. Businesses and people who are out to deceive people had better beware. A big "THANK YOU" to the Federal Trade Commission.
Don't use your…
November 06, 2019
Thanks for the great information
November 06, 2019
I appreciate all the information!
November 06, 2019
How about when you want to make a comment about a product/service YOU ARE SUGGESTING that the person/persons stay away from based upon your own personal negative history with them (the providers of said product/service)??
November 07, 2019
Thank you for providing the guide lines to stay on the right side of the law. In todays world it's nice to know that one government agency is helping the consumer.
November 08, 2019
So how does one file a complaint against an influencer in violation? I don't see a specific category for it in your complaint section.
FTC Staff
November 12, 2019

In reply to by Influenced

Thank you for checking, and you're right, there isn't a specific category for that.

But you could choose "Internet Services, Online Shopping or Computers," then "Something Else" to report. The complaint process lets you tell what happened in your own words. The details you give in that field, for example by writing "X person didn't disclose that she's a paid influencer for Y company,"  are essential to the people who use the database for investigations.

Neil Rabeaux
November 12, 2019

In reply to by Influenced

Would like to speak with y’all about this matter and I’m sure that I am not the only one that has been hurt or affected by this. Need legal advice can I get this help. I’ve read About the influencers and there’s a lot more. Do you not want to do anything illegal I like these people are. Please contact me. Neil C. Rabeaux thank you
FTC Staff
November 15, 2019

In reply to by Neil Rabeaux

This FTC brochure gives tips on when and how influencers can make good disclosures: Disclosures 101 for Social Media Influencers.

You can report a problem to the FTC at The information you give will go into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

November 12, 2019
Thank you FTC for sharing this information. I'm sure I am one of many, many individuals that appreciates all that you do for us.
Twitter user
November 18, 2019
Why is Twitter allowed to post thousands of ads that are not marked as promotion or advertising? Users have to click the little dots in the upper right corner to realize that the post is a fake that somebody paid for. It seems that Twitter consciously and openly violates all the rules that influencers and marketers have to live by.