- Adweek reports that while some brands have pressured Snapchat influencers to not reveal when content is sponsored, many creators are starting to make sure to follow the paid social media guidelines set forth by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
- Brands reportedly have asked influencers to avoid disclosing paid content because Snapchat doesn’t have any rules about disclosures, unlike Instagram and Twitter.
- "We haven't brought any cases involving Snapchat, and our guidance doesn't specifically address Snapchat by name, but it applies to Snapchat like any other channel," Michael Ostheimer, an attorney within the FTC's division of advertising practices, told Adweek.
The ephemeral nature of Snapchat, where posts “disappear” after 24 hours, makes it more difficult to document posts that might be sponsored, but are not clearly labeled. Snapchat influencers are wise to take it upon themselves to disclose paid content, as the FTC has proven willing to take steps against campaigns that don’t follow disclosure rules, including settlements with Warner Brothers and Lord & Taylor this year.
Research has found that influencers are actually more aware of the FTC’s rules than marketers are, with 67% of sponsored content creators understanding the guidelines and disclosure requirements while only 8% of B2B marketers reported fully understanding or being aware of the requirements, according to the study.
"With more influencers creating content on Snapchat, you're seeing everyone follow along [with FTC guidelines]," Nick Cicero, CEO of Delmondo, an influencer firm, told Adweek about Snapchat influencers taking it on themselves to disclose paid posts. "The widely accepted industry best practice is still using #ad and you see more influencer campaigns being executed on Snapchat—it's a universal understanding."
The FTC guidelines are fairly straightforward. Regardless of any one social media platforms’ policy on sponsored content disclosure, any ad has to be labeled as such and not mislead consumers into thinking it is unpaid content.