If an influencer has a long-standing relationship with a brand, is a material connection disclosure necessary in every post about the brand? Similarly, do influencers with their own product lines need a material connection disclosure when posting about their own products?

Common sense would suggest probably not. The FTC would say try again.

Below are a couple of helpful FAQs on this topic from the FTC:

QUESTION: An influencer has millions of followers on Instagram and is well-known as a spokesperson for a particular brand/product. Does the influencer have to disclose being paid in every post about the brand/product?

ANSWER: It depends on what viewers of the post would understand. If a significant minority of viewers do not know about the relationship and would care if they did, the relationship should be disclosed. Determining whether the audience for a post is aware of and cares about a relationship can be tricky, so the FTC recommends disclosure. Also, if a disclosure is needed in one post for a brand, it’s probably needed in all posts, because you can’t assume that viewers will see multiple posts.

QUESTION: An influencer creates their own brand and sells their product through their social media accounts and website. Do they need to disclose anything?

ANSWER: If it is obvious from an influencer’s endorsement that that the brand is the influencer’s own, no disclosure is necessary. If it’s not clear or sometimes not clear that it’s the influencer’s brand, that fact should be disclosed.

Learn more about the FTC guidelines in my last blog post. If you need assistance with material connection disclosures, feel free to reach out to Lauren Carey.