Social Media Influencer Lawyer
Are you a social media influencer? Do you need legal representation to protect your brand and ensure you comply with FTC regulations? The social medial influencer lawyers from Attorney Tom can help you. We have a team of experienced and dedicated legal professionals who can assist you with your business goals.
We work with influencers on platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. When you hire us, you will have access to the following legal services:
- FTC compliance
- Trademark, copyright, patents, and other types of intellectual property
- Products liability
- Business transactions
- Equity transactions
- Drafting and negotiating agreements
- Financial planning and restructuring
- Joint ventures and other business relations, alliances, and transactions
What Is a Social Media Influencer?
Whether you’re an established influencer or just getting started, you should understand the role of a social media influencer. They are people who work with different companies to promote their products through social media outlets like Facebook or Instagram.
Based on the details in a contract or agreement, the influencer receives compensation or free product for each post that endorses or recommends the public to use those products.
Federal Trade Commission Rules and Regulations
When you’re a social media influencer, there are rules and regulations you must follow. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces truth-in-advertising standards and aims to prevent deceptive advertising tactics. If your audience isn’t aware that you’re getting paid to promote or endorse a product, that could create room for deceptive advertising.
If you’re posting about a product you tried and liked without receiving any compensation, there’s no need to disclose your relationship with the company. However, if your post involves a form of income, you have to ensure people can see and understand that you have a relationship with the company, and that’s why you’re posting about their product.
The disclosure needs to be visible and not hidden in the fine print. You should place it in the endorsement message instead of on your profile page, about me section, or as a link that someone needs to click to read its contents.
Other FTC guidelines you must follow includes:
- Don’t endorse a product you never tried
- Disclose material relationships
- Don’t claim a product is good if it’s bad
- Back up factual statements made with studies
- Don’t trick consumers into things like monthly subscriptions without consent
- Don’t falsely claim to have a relationship with a brand to secure relationships with other brands
- Substantiate all advertising claims and ensure they’re not deceptive to a reasonable customer
Rights of publicity
It’s also crucial that you pay attention to the rights of publicity regulations. This statute prohibits the use of an individual’s name, image, or likeness when advertising or promoting on social media platforms without their permission.
What You Should Do If You’re a Social Media Influencer
Whichever stage you’re in as a social media influencer, you should hire a lawyer to protect you. Many people become complacent and don’t think they would get in much trouble if they fail to follow specific regulations. However, the FTC is cracking down on influencers that break the rules. Following are some considerations that all social media influencers should keep in mind:
Social media handle
If you want to endorse a product or service with a social media handle, you have to make sure no one else has the legal rights to the name. A trademark is a logo, symbol, name, or phrase that indicates the origin of a product, service, or business and differentiates it from other companies.
If you infringe on someone’s trademark, you could open yourself up to legal consequences. That’s why hiring a lawyer is your best course of action if you want to create and develop your brand on social media. A trademark is a valuable asset and something that should be completely original.
Disclose all partnerships, collaborations, and sponsorships
Many people don’t realize a material relationship doesn’t just mean the relationship between a social media influencer and the company paying them to promote a product. Any of the following could require the disclosure of a material relationship:
- Receiving a complimentary product
- Family relationship
- Business relationship
Copyright protects tangible and original works, such as music, photography, books, art, and videos. If you hire someone to take your photos that you later post on social media for compensation, you must own the copyright. If you don’t, that means they own the photos and could sue you for copyright infringement.
Defamation is when a person makes false statements about a party that ends up ruining their reputation. If you’re going to post to your many followers each day, you have to ensure the statements you’re making about other brands are factual. Don’t bad mouth them or allege that their product caused you harm if it didn’t.
The law does allow you to tell the truth, even if it means critiquing someone’s product or service. However, you shouldn’t make false claims just because you don’t like the company, or they fired you as their promoter. For example, if you get a skin rash and claim on social media that a company’s makeup caused it when, in fact, it didn’t, that would be defamation.
Report your income
No matter how you make money, you have to report it to the U.S. government. Getting paid to promote or advertise on social media is a form of income that you need to report on your taxes. If you don’t report your earnings as a social media influencer, you could get charged with tax evasion or tax fraud.
Hire an Experienced Social Media Influencer Lawyer from Attorney Tom
We care about our clients’ success. We want to help you build a brand people love and ensure you follow all social media and federal regulations. Our social media influencer lawyers understand the laws governing social media platforms and their users. We will assist you in creating a business strategy, protect your intellectual property, and prevent actions that could result in legal trouble.
If you’re a social media influencer, call Attorney Tom at (713) 244-6363 to find out how we can help you develop a successful brand and avoid legal problems down the road.