When your favorite celebrity gushes on social media about how the latest protein shake gets them back on track after the holidays, are you more likely to buy it? Are you more influenced by a mompreneur reviewing skin care regimes?
Would it matter if they were paid to make that post?
The Federal Trade Commission thinks it does and has issued rules regarding product endorsements, influencers, and reviews. You can find the guide here. As the product/services owner, the burden is on you to make sure your endorsers, influencers and reviewers are complying with the rules.
All “material connections” between the product and the influencer need to be disclosed (I got this moisturizer for free to provide a review on TikTok; I got a free copy of the book to review; If you click on the product link on my blog to buy a product, I get a commission; I was paid $25 to give a 5-star review on Facebook/Google/Amazon… etc.). There is no specific way or time to disclose.
What to Disclose (not an exhaustive list):
Advertiser gives you a free product to review
You are an affiliated marketer
You were paid for your opinion
You are an employee posting a review
You have an interest in the company offering the product/services
How to Protect Yourself and Your Business:
Know the law
Beware of extraordinary results ads
Vet your influencers
Be clear about compliance expectations
Provide several disclosures