FTC Guidelines and Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing and Advertising Compliance

Influencer marketing... user reviews and testimonials... endorsements. These are all powerful tools in the marketing toolkit, but they now expose marketers to new risks and scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or your industry regulator, such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The good news is that you can mitigate those risks.

Firms that provide financial services, including fintechs, are often familiar with working in a highly regulated environment, but these new marketing regulations are not only for fintech. They go far beyond and affect any marketers using these digital marketing tools.

Two new important changes have emerged and need to be addressed:

  • The FTC has made fintech one of its 2020 priorities, so in addition with potentially more familiar banking and finance regulators such as the SEC, fintechs now need to understand the requirements of a separate regulatory body.
  • Even if you are in an industry that is less heavily regulated than financial services, you now face potentially greater scrutiny, and will be held accountable for complying with FTC advertiser and influencer regulation.

Did you know that the Federal Trade Commission can investigate and penalize both advertisers and influencers?

InnReg is a practiced hand in the world of compliance and outsourced compliance operations. We can help marketers like you first by creating your internal policies, rules of conduct, and processes, and then by reviewing and monitoring influencer activity on your behalf. 

We offer it all in one convenient package that puts our robust compliance experience at your service. 

Even if you’re not familiar with compliance or never needed compliance review for your marketing in the past, you need it now to avoid steep fines and embarrassing bad press. 

Instead of worrying about it or trying to figure out how to remain compliant, InnReg works for you as an outsourced extension of your team.

You don’t have to learn about FTC compliance by trial and error. Instead, work with InnReg and protect yourself.

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What we do

  • Internal policies and procedures: We rigorously define policies and procedures that make sense for your marketing processes.
  • Rules of conduct for influencers: We give you written rules of conduct that protect you against potential influencer violations (intentional or unintentional).
  • Influencer onboarding process: We develop and manage the process for getting your influencers up and running while following the necessary requirements.
  • Compliance review of marketing initiatives: We assess each campaign and plan is assessed for potential risks and violations – and in addition, we review current and past campaigns to remediate any compliance issues.
  • Monitoring of influencer activity: On an ongoing, day-to-day basis, we review Influencer posts and activity on all relevant channels for compliance – in other words, we work as your compliance department.

Compliance Regulations Insights on Digital Marketing Compliance

Learning Center


What you need to know about influencers
  • Influencers MUST follow disclosure guidelines if they have any kind of material relationship with you.
  • Tags, likes, pins and other non-verbal interactions are still considered to be endorsements.
  • The FTC has strict guidelines on where, when, and how relationships must be disclosed.
  • Both companies and influencers can be held liable for violations, improper activities, and failures to monitor for such.
  • The FTC’s “Disclosures 101” guide is a helpful additional resource describing what is required.
What you need to know about endorsements and testimonials
  • As with influencers, all material relationships must be clearly, explicitly disclosed.
  • Endorsements and testimonials must be “honest and not misleading,” just as any other advertising.
  • Testimonials that describe exceptional or above average results must clearly indicate what typical consumers would experience.
  • Sponsored endorsements are subject to FTC scrutiny in all media (print, tv/radio, online, social media, podcasts, etc.).
  • Advertisers need to have reasonable programs in place to train and monitor anyone endorsing their products.
  • The FTC’s Endorsement Guides provide additional detail on this topic.
What you need to know about user reviews
  • The FTC puts consumers first. Consumers have the right to share their honest opinions in any forum.
  • You may not use any contract provisions or other tactics to try to prevent people from giving honest reviews. 
  • Advertisers should proceed with caution in attempting to solicit or reward positive reviews from customers.
  • As you might expect, fake reviews or services that post them are not compliant with the Consumer Review Fairness Act.
  • Here’s what else you need to know about the Consumer Review Fairness Act.
What you need to know about using lead generators
  • Many services exist that will collect data or help match customer needs to brands or service providers. 
  • Legitimate services follow FTC data collection guidelines, but you absolutely need to exercise due diligence to be sure.
  • In order to protect yourself against potential violations, you need: 
  1. Detailed contract requirements for your vendor and its subcontractors
  2. Unambiguous service level agreements
  3. Audit and monitoring capabilities for vendor data collection and distribution

Reach out today for a Complimentary Consultation.

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