The recent FTC regulation concerning social media has been a hot topic of conversation as of late with our clients and agency partners. They’ve all been wondering: How will this affect American Pop?
After reading the FTC summary and taking heed from industry experts, it’s clear that the spirit of the regulation is to prevent bloggers from giving their opinion after being paid by a brand without disclosing that payment.
We are satisfied that American Pop is well within the regulation as our approach has always been to be very transparent.
We put together some bullets drilling down on the changes in the regulation, and how it affects our outreach. For us, it’s really a matter of common sense:
- Being 100% transparent (completely up front about working for the brand) helps to keep us within the regulations.
- Steering clear of “Pay Per Post” ensures that we are in no way paying an influencer for their opinion. Our approach involves rallying excitement around the brands we work with and providing bloggers compelling reasons to pass-along new exciting information.
- Sampling – providing review samples to influencers is common place across all media (DVD’s to review, sample perfume vials, product giveaways, etc.). We have added a disclaimer to any outreach messaging that involves sampling to make clear that sampling should not be construed as payment for a favorable post.
- According to the regulation, the primary responsibility for transparency is on the Blogger.
We have always been upfront and transparent with the bloggers we’ve worked with, and will continue to ensure that we are compliant with the applicable regulations.
All in all, a regulation that helps to ensure honesty in marketing is a good thing. Hopefully the broad language in the regulation and the fact that enforcement is based on complaints will not create any ugly situations for otherwise ethical programs.