Online training program teaches influencers how to follow the law when promoting a brand's products or services.
LOS ANGELES, CALIF., USA, February 24, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ — A national marketing study recently revealed that 86% of people aged 13 to 38 would like to become social media influencers. And brands are plenty eager to bring them aboard — and pay out an estimated $15 billion per year by 2022 on influencer marketing, according to Business Insider.
Eyeing this explosion of sponsored content via Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Pinterest, and other platforms, the Federal Trade Commission has resolved this year to increase penalties on companies whose influencers flout laws intended to protect consumers from advertising fraud.
Legal compliance requires more than simply plopping #ad onto the bottom of a post.
“A lot of brands are unaware of what the rules are — and of what could happen if they don’t comply,” said Los Angeles Attorney Robert Freund, who focuses on advertising law and regularly speaks on influencer marketing issues. “It’s easy for some brands and influencers to treat social media as though it’s not ‘real’ advertising. So it’s easy for influencers to not know what to look for in the first place, or to just assume because you see a celebrity endorsing a product a certain way, that that’s the right way to do it.”
This is where InfluencersIQ changes the landscape. InfluencersIQ is the first-ever legal compliance training and certification program for professional influencers, social media marketers, agencies and everyone involved in a social media campaign — including parents of juvenile influencers.
The online training program teaches influencers how to follow the law when promoting a brand’s product or service. Those who pass an examination at the end of the hour-long training receive a compliance certificate and are added to InfluencersIQ’s registry. Brands and agencies are then able to search the registry to verify whether an influencer is certified. Searches are free.
Certified influencers stand out from the pack. “They show that they take their obligations seriously enough to earn certification,” said Freund, who created InfluencersIQ after fielding compliance questions from his own Instagram followers.
Because brands can be financially liable for influencers’ mistakes and noncompliance with FTC rules, they should prefer to work with certified influencers. “One area of risk is that it’s not always easy to control what your influencers post, so working with certified influencers is a way you can minimize that risk and limit liability by showing you have compliance procedures and controls in place,” Freund said.
And if one of a brand’s influencers does stray outside the law, the FTC takes into consideration what preventative measures the company took to try to prevent it from happening. If a brand or agency is investigated, the FTC specifically wants to see that influencers are being educated about compliance.
“A lot of brands still work with influencers without a contract. Even with an influencer agreement in place, it’s one thing to simply ask them to sign off on agreeing to follow the FTC rules, but this is an objective way to prove that you have done more,” Freund said. “And as an influencer, you can attest that you will comply with the law, but you need to show that you know what that means.”
For more information about professional influencer certification, legal compliance, and special introductory and group pricing, visit InfluencersIQ.com.
Robert Freund is an experienced business litigator and advisor. His practice focuses on advertising litigation and compliance, with an emphasis on social media marketing issues.
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Introducing InfluencersIQ – A certification and training course for social media influencers and brands
Source: EIN Presswire