The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) updated its guidelines on endorsements and recommendations — including guides on content creators’ disclosure on sponsored posts to avoid deceptive ads. If you’re an influencer, read more. 

How to disclose sponsored posts according to the new guidelines

According to FTC, a good disclosure of your content “helps keep your recommendations honest and truthful, and it allows people to weigh the value of your endorsements.” Previously, creators were allowed to use hashtags #ad #sponsored on their sponsored posts. However, now, those alone are not enough anymore.

FTC emphasized that the disclosure should be easy to see and understand. This means that you should avoid putting the disclosure in areas where it requires more clicks to see or mixed with other hashtags. For endorsements in picture form posted on Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat, the disclosure should be over your picture so that it can be easily noticed by your viewers. For your video endorsements, “the disclosure should be in the video and not just in the description uploaded with the video.”

Additionally, when it comes to language, FTC said that your disclosure should be simple and clear. A simple explanation such as “Thank you, XYZ company for the XXX” is enough, as well as the terms such as “sponsored” and “ad.” In the event that the sponsorship is tweeted, terms like “XYZ Partner” are good options since Twitter has character limitations. Remember not to mix #ad #sponsored with other hashtags of your posts because those can be easily missed.

Keep these new guidelines in mind

Platforms such as YouTube already have a disclosure tool that helps creators label their sponsored content correctly. You can also check other platforms’ tools and adjust accordingly, but always keep the new guidelines in mind. As long as the disclosure is verbally declared on the video, you’re all set. You can read the FTC’s Disclore for Social Media Influencers here