Dallas – In his article, “To Win Friends and Influence People: Regulation and Enforcement of Influencer Marketing After Ten Years of the Endorsement Guides,” Thompson & Knight Partner Craig Carpenter reviews the history of influencer marketing and examines the benefits of the current regulatory regime in light of increase calls for additional regulation.
According to the article, “For the last ten years, social media influencer marketing has been regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) under the FTC’s Section 5 “unfair practices” authority, guided by the Endorsement Guides, a “best practices” document published by the FTC. This is a fairly “light” regulatory scheme where violators typically enter no-money, no-fault consent decrees and generally undertake to do a better job following the Endorsement Guides in the future. During this time, the practice has flourished, and companies are spending significant portions of their marketing budgets on social media influencer advertising. Recently, the FTC has submitted proposals for increased enforcement and penalties in this space based on a belief that misinformation is plaguing the internet.” After reviewing the history of influencer marketing and examining the current regulatory scheme, Carpenter’s Article contends that the current regime, while not perfect, is preferable to a strict rule-based approach with substantial penalties recently proposed by the FTC, due to the evolving nature of the technology and consumer perception in this field.
Craig Carpenter is a Partner in Thompson & Knight’s Intellectual Property Practice Group in Dallas. He focuses his practice on branding and marketing, entertainment, technology transactions, and data privacy. He is a frequent speaker and author on technology and digital marketing legal topics. He received a J.D., cum laude, from SMU Dedman School of Law in 2012 and a B.S., summa cum laude, in Microbiology from Clemson University in 2009.
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