Does #Partner Mean “I Was Paid To Post This Message”?
The FTC says no! Specifically, the FTC said: “terms like “Thank you,” “#partner,” and “#sp” aren’t likely to explain to people the nature of the relationship between an influencer and the brand.” Before now, I might have approved the use of #partner in the right context. But last week, the FTC sent letters to over 90 influencers (athletes, celebrities, etc.) reminding them of their obligation to disclose if they are being paid to post or otherwise have a relationship with a company/brand mentioned in their post. Letters were also sent to marketers to remind them of their obligations in this arena. The letters warn of the wrong way to make these disclosures (e.g., don't make the disclosure after a "more" button in a post, don’t make the disclosure within a string of unrelated hashtags, don’t make the disclosure vague – no #sp or “thank you”). Below are links to samples of the letters the FTC sent to influencers and marketers regarding improper/proper material connection disclosures. And check out our other posts that explain related compliance obligations when engaging influencers: HERE and HERE. Influencer Sample Letter From FTC