Expert Alert

New FTC guidelines for social media influencers

Portrait of Professor Terry sitting outside with trees and grass in the background.
Professor Christopher Terry

A staggering 49% of consumers rely on social media influencer recommendations when making a purchase, according to the Digital Marketing Institute. Until now, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has not had enforceable guidelines to ensure influencers disclose the products they are paid to promote. Today, the FTC will vote on new guidance that could mean significant sanctions for influencers who fail to properly disclose their brand partnerships.

Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication Professor Christopher Terry can speak to the potential impact of the FTC’s vote on social media influencers and consumers.

Christopher Terry

“Although the Federal Trade Commission has long regulated endorsements appearing in traditional advertising, influencers promoting products through social media without disclosure have largely been given a pass by the agency. Now, after a two year review process, the FTC is set to release formal rules governing the conduct and disclosures required of social media influencers. Influencers who fail to comply with the new rules are likely to face significant sanctions. Consumers will benefit from the disclosure of the material relationships between influencers and the products they promote.”

Christopher Terry is an assistant professor of journalism and media law in the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication. His research and expertise covers a wide range of topics including administrative law, media ownership and advertising regulation, political advertising, copyright, free expression, fair use, creativity, open access, scholarship, remix, publishing, distribution, creator rights and digital media law.

Christopher Terry, [email protected] 


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