FTC Guidelines: How They Apply to Influencers on Twitch
Knowing about the FTC Guidelines for disclosure is important because it’s the law. Below are some high level points about disclosing a relationship with an advertiser.
When is it required?
Influencers having a connection with an advertiser that can affect an endorsement are required to disclose it. Connections include either familial or other business relationships. For years, influencers have been abusing these relationships. As a result, the Federal Trade Commission is starting to crack down. Therefore, when in doubt, disclose.
Where and how do I disclose?
Disclosure should be unavoidable and clearly convey your relationship with an advertiser. It should be in close proximity to the content in question. The FTC Guidelines specifically state “clear and conspicuous”. That means there should be no question to people about the nature of your relationship. For example, it’s not okay to put a single affiliate notice at the bottom of the page, or sidebar, or on an about page. The disclosure has to be close to the mention.
Let’s get specific about Twitch.
Panels and Overlays
If you’re using an image, clearly disclose either on or near it, the nature of what the viewer is seeing. Showing only a chat command allows you to defer disclosure to the bot. If you’re paid to display a logo you can call it out with: “This stream sponsored by: [logo or company name]”.
It’s a good idea to regularly talk about sponsors in stream for two great reasons. First, it makes it clear to your audience the relationship you have with them. Second, it also gives you a chance to sell. You want your advertisers to be top of mind for your viewers regularly. That can be as simple as saying thank you to them at either end of your session.
Bot Commands, Tweets, and Instagram
Use #ad in the body of the text. You can also disclose your relationship in a full sentence, like: “[insert company name] sponsors me and you should check them out! [link]”. Most of all, try to avoid ambiguous hashtags and abbreviations like #spon, #partnered, etc. #ad really is the way to go.
More Information on the FTC Guidelines
Furthermore, check out (and consider joining) The Performance Marketing Association. Specifically look at their whitepapers for more information on blogger and new media disclosure.
If you’d like us to take a free look at your disclosures, please sign up for the beta in the sidebar or Contact Us and we’ll follow up.