bloglovinBloglovin iconCombined ShapeCreated with Sketch. Fill 1Created with Sketch. Fill 1Created with Sketch. Fill 1Created with Sketch. Fill 1Created with Sketch. Fill 1Created with Sketch. rssRSS iconsoundcloudSoundCloud iconFill 1Created with Sketch. Fill 1Created with Sketch. Fill 1Created with Sketch. Fill 1Created with Sketch. close searchCreated with Lunacy

Disclosure Rules on Social Media

social media disclosure rules

In this quick read, you’re going to learn when to post a disclosure along with your social media post. (Hint: disclosures aren’t just for traditional sponsored posts.) You’ll also learn what makes for a good disclosure.

When do I need to follow disclosure rules on social media?

So, the very quick, very short answer to “When do I need to post a disclosure,” is whenever there is a “material connection” between you and the brand.

The question of course, is, what does “material connection” mean? A material connection is any connection between you and the brand that goes beyond just “I found this and I like it” or “I came across this brand and wanted to share it with you.”

The rules aren’t just for traditional “sponsored” posts.

Disclosure rules on social media aren’t just for sponsored posts. A “material connection” includes:

  • Receiving free products (or even discounted products),
  • Receiving a special invitation to an event
  • An employment relationship with a brand,
  • A family or friendship relationship with a brand, and
  • Some kind of stock ownership in a brand.

Basically, disclosure rules on social media come into play with any relationship that goes beyond what any of us consumers would have with a brand.

What’s in a good disclosure?

Well, a good disclosure is clear, and it is conspicuous. It is not ambiguous. A statement like “Thank you, [brand]!” is not really clear, and it’s a little ambiguous. It does not show that there’s some kind of material connection between the poster and the brand. Same thing with #partner. That kind of, might suggest that there’s something going on. But especially when you’re relying on hashtags, you want to make sure that those hashtags are very clear.

Does the user have to tap the “More” to see your disclosure? A lot of times people don’t tap more to see more. Even on visual media like instagram stories and Snapchat, you want to make sure that those disclosures are conspicuous.

So I hope you walk away today with a good explanation of what a material connection is, what a good disclosure has, and when to follow those disclosure rules on social media.

Sponsored Content and Posting the Right Way

sponsored content and posting the right way

Ever watch an old television show and notice the not-so-subtle product placement that was so commonplace back then? “Gee, Mary, these dishes sure are clean. You must be using Palmolive soap again!” Fast forward 65 years and sponsored content is still alive, but the medium and pitchmen have changed. Influencers and celebrities use Instagram and other platforms to make big money. But times are a-changin’ again, thanks to crackdowns — er, gentle reminders — by the FTC. Continue reading “Sponsored Content and Posting the Right Way”

Second Anniversary: Blog Round-Up

spear ip legal checklist for modern business

This month marks the second (!) anniversary of Spear IP’s opening. You might notice that Spear IP started as a general intellectual property law practice. In its second year, Spear IP pivoted to focus on the fashion, hospitality, blog and new media, and tech industries, along with creative (non-musical) professionals. Here is a look back at the lessons learned and content shared on the Spear IP Blog during Year Two.

Continue reading “Second Anniversary: Blog Round-Up”

Client Query: A Celebrity Is Wearing My Brand

a celebrity is wearing my brand

“Client Query” is a brief segment in which a common client question is broken down and answered. This month, Spear IP tackles that “OMG” moment… “A celebrity is wearing my brand!”

Continue reading “Client Query: A Celebrity Is Wearing My Brand”

Contest Rules, Social Media, and the Law

Contest Rules Social Media and the Law

You’ve seen them so often that you don’t even pay attention to the rules. “Tag a friend in the comments to enter!” “Share this photo to enter!” But, like all contests and sweepstakes, contests that take place on social media are often governed by very specific rules. How many social media contests or promotions have you run or participated in that do not follow the rules?

Continue reading “Contest Rules, Social Media, and the Law”

COPPA & Making An App For Kids

Making An App For Kids

Making a website or app can take a tremendous amount of time, planning, and skill. But making an app for kids adds another layer — compliance. What is COPPA? And what are the extra steps in maintaining a website or making an app for kids?

Continue reading “COPPA & Making An App For Kids”

Photos, Smartphones, & Copyright

Photos smartphones and copyright

Have you ever stopped to think about our camera-phone culture?

We take so many pictures. Social media, and Instagram in particular, has made each of us into an amateur photographer. What will you do this weekend? Go to a pumpkin patch and photograph the pumpkins? Snap photos of the bride and groom dancing at a wedding? Post a picture of your Bloody Mary at brunch? Continue reading “Photos, Smartphones, & Copyright”

Peeple: Legal Lessons For App & Website Providers

Legal Lessons For App & Website Providers

Peeple, an app that has yet to take on its final form, has been causing quite a stir. The Canadian company behind the app (namely, its co-founder, Julia Cordray) has touted it as “Yelp for People.” But what are the legal concerns surrounding an app or website platform that can be used for negative purposes such as cyber-bullying and defamation?

Continue reading “Peeple: Legal Lessons For App & Website Providers”