A legal perspective on Influencer Marketing


Back to basics

by Pien Kramps

Congrats! You have decided you would like to make it as an Influencer! Or maybe you are already a successful Influencer, and you are planning to be part of a new exciting campaign. In any case, legal challenges are part of the job. In this article, I will provide you with some tips on how to become a legal responsible Influencer. #knowledgeispower.


Tip 1 – Comply with rules and regulations

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Just as all types of marketing, Influencer Marketing is subject to (national) rules and regulations. This implies that as an Influencer, you need to take legal aspects into account. Even though it might not be considered as the most fun part, in order to ensure full compliance with the relevant code rules and associated industry guidelines regarding advertising and promotional campaigns, you need to stay up to date with changes and innovations. Not only in a creative sense, but also from a legal perspective.

Therefore, my first tip is to educate yourself. Information can easily be found online, whereby you need to keep in mind which institution is the go-to party. For example, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the regulatory institution in the United States of America. The Dutch institution in the field of advertising is the Stichting Reclame Code (SRC).

Furthermore, it is advisable to share your knowledge. You can, for example, blog about the legal rules. In this way, you provide others with guidance on how to be compliant and you increase legal awareness within your field of expertise.


Tip 2 – Discuss expectations in an early stage

As an Influencer, you would like to manage, meet, and exceed expectations. But how to do this?

Firstly, a brand representation needs to follow your values. As an Influencer, you do not want to be bound to something, which goes morally or ethically against your values. To avoid a situation wherein you are being held to unrealistic or impractical expectations, you need to understand the ins and outs of the brand, product and/or the campaign in general. Make sure you are able to make a genuine decision to either move forward or decline a collaboration.

Secondly, once you have decided to move forward with a collaboration, take the time to explain clearly how you can meet the expectations. For example, how do you deal with the situation wherein the content does not meet the expectations? Do you provide the possibility to re-shoot?

By identifying each other’s expectations, and even more important, by discussing how these expectations can be managed, disputes can be avoided. You can enhance your mutual relationship by guiding each other and by keeping in mind that building a successful Influencer Marketing Campaign is a common interest of all parties involved.

Tip 3 – Manage the contract

Make sure that everything is stipulated clearly, and in accessible language in the contract. Besides all the practical elements (such as costs and delivery of services, amount of content, platform on which the content will be published, and the respective dates and times), stipulate the usage rights, exclusivity arrangements, and the reviewing, approval, monitoring, and removal process.

Tip 4 – Create honest, transparent, fair, ads 

Not only during the negation and contractual phase, it is essential to communicate clearly. Also, in the creative phase, namely the content creation, a primary goal should be to ensure that you communicate clearly and honestly with your audience. This means that you properly disclose the purpose of marketing a product or service or mentioning a brand. This can be achieved by referring to the brand and/or its product and by adding the hashtags #ad (advertising) or #spon (sponsored).

Influencers who are complying with the above, are not only avoiding sanctions, they seek to ensure more reliability and credibility of advertising. Furthermore, they create honest, transparent, trustful, and fair campaigns that are more meaningful.


Conclusion – Legal professionalism can be a business model  

In conclusion, a legal responsible Influencer has up-to-date knowledge of the rules and regulations within its industry and aims to fully comply with these rules and regulations. In order to manage, meet, and exceed the expectations, the Influencer communicates clearly with all parties involved in the collaboration and towards its audience. A legal responsible Influencer aims to make a positive difference as this Influencer is aware of the fact that with great power comes great legal responsibility.

Chiara Magri