FTC and FDA Sponsoring Regulations: In Short
Blogger review campaigns and sponsored social media posts are everywhere these days, and they are undoubtedly effective. However, if you’re thinking of launching such a campaign it is very important to be up to date on the latest regulations in order to keep the audience completely informed. This does not mean that the blogger will say ‘I’m just copy pasting this from a company!’ Obviously, this would quickly lose them their influence. But there are several ways to disclose sponsored content that will not alienate your potential customers.
Firstly, the blogger must disclose that the post was sponsored, preferably at the top of the post with a disclaimer like ‘This is a sponsored post’. This also extends to all mentions in social media including Tweets, Facebook, and Instagram post. The inclusion of something like #ad or #sponsored is generally sufficient.
If you’re a veteran vlog viewer or blog connoisseur you will have noticed bloggers often stating something like ‘I was so excited when XYZ Brand reached out to me to review their new product!’ in their intro. Encourage the blogger to state that they will not be affected by their compensation and will still deliver an honest review. This is one way to mitigate the alienating ‘ad’ effect. Some more audience-friendly disclaimers:
– This is a sponsored post by XYZ, however all of my opinions are a 100% honest reflection of my experience with the product. Thanks XYZ for the opportunity!
– XYZ were kind enough to send me this product and I did receive compensation for my objective review.
FDA has more detailed regulations regarding drugs and medicines. Kim Kardashian’s post about the drug Diclegis is an example of what not to do, as she did not provide the proper disclaimer and information. Again, the most important thing is disclosure in posts and other social media mentions. In addition bloggers must disclose the possible risks and side effects. The full info that must be presented includes:
- Uses – how to use and take the drug.
- When to not use (for example if one has a heart condition or is pregnant)
- Warnings and Side Effects
- A note to ask a health care provider before use
- Drug interactions
FTC and FDA regulation are occasionally updated so always make sure to check the latest requirements before starting a campaign!