Have you received free (or discounted) products and/or money from a brand to mention their product(s) in a video or post? If so, certain disclosures may be required by law. As an influencer, it is your responsibility to make these disclosures.

When to Disclose

A disclosure is required when you have a relationship with a brand. You have a financial relationship with a brand if the brand gives you anything of value to mention their product (e.g. free product, discounted product, money). Telling your social media followers about this kind of relationship is important because it allows them to weigh the value of your endorsement. Note, however, if you mention a product that you paid for yourself, there is no need to disclose the absence of a relationship.

What to Disclose

A simple explanation is generally sufficient (e.g. “Thanks to [name of brand] for the free product”). If using a hashtag to identify a material connection, make it clear, such as:

>> #ad

>> #advertisement

>> #sponsored

>> #[name of brand]ambassador

>> #[name of brand]partner

Avoid ambiguous hashtags to identify material connections, such as:

>> #sp

>> #spon

>> #thanks

>> #ambassador

>> #partner

>> #collab

Where to Disclose

Make sure people will see and understand the disclosure. You should avoid burying the disclosure in a bio or among a series of hashtags or other disclosures. For an in-feed Instagram post, disclose a material connection before the “More” button. On Instagram stories, superimpose the disclosure over the picture. In a live stream, repeat the disclosure as needed to ensure that viewers see it. In a video, place the disclosure within the video itself, not just in the description of the video. In other words, place the disclosure so it is hard to miss.

Other Tips

>> Do not assume that a platform’s disclosure tool is good enough, but do consider using it in addition to your own disclosure.

>> Do not assume your followers already know about your brand relationships.

If you have any questions on disclosures (why we use them, where to put them, how to write them), please reach out to Lauren Carey.