MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--TapInfluence, the world’s leading influencer marketing technology and marketplace of content creators, today announced the launch of The FTC Auditor, the first automated Federal Trade Commission (FTC) compliance tool for influencer marketing and social media. FTC fines came into focus in 2016 when brands, agencies, and influencers received hefty penalties for non-disclosure. In July of 2016, Warner Brothers settled for an undisclosed amount and earlier in 2015, LifeLock agreed to settle for $100 million.
The launch of The FTC Auditor is in direct response to a general lack of awareness of FTC guidelines by both marketers and influencers. In collaboration with research company Altimeter, TapInfluence surveyed over 100 global brands and 1,800 influencers and uncovered that while 52 percent of marketers always ask that ads follow FTC guidelines, 34.1 percent ask for adherence on occasion and 12.8 percent completely ignore FTC compliance.
Amanda Schreyer, a media and marketing attorney in Boston, explains that “an FTC order against a company often consists of more than just a ‘slap on the wrist.’ Defendants can be required to maintain records of compliance that the FTC can audit, to report compliance to the FTC, to provide a copy of the order to all employees and vendors involved in the company’s advertising and promotion, and to pay fines to the FTC in amounts reaching tens of millions of dollars. And these orders can remain in effect for up to 20 years.”
The new technology powering The FTC Auditor algorithmically checks and verifies influencer-generated content for FTC compliance by using advances in data science, trained against eight years of historical social network data. Artificial Intelligence (AI) models were created using data science advances in Natural Language Processing to interpret the content of the posts and to score them for compliance with FTC guidelines.
Beyond FTC compliance, the auditor serves as an unofficial reputation tool, helping to maintain a brand’s integrity and an influencer’s authenticity with their audience. The FTC Auditor will be one of many critical lines of defense, protecting brands and influencers from costly and embarrassing FTC mishaps. This launch is the first of many developed directly upon data science findings and TapInfluence’s unique, foundational data set. As more marketing budgets shift to influencer-generated content, TapInfluence is the best partner for marketers to maximize compliant influencer engagements saving brands time and money.
“Influencer marketing works because of the authenticity of influencers. Disclosures are necessary to help consumers understand when something is sponsored by a brand. Because each influencer writes in his/her own authentic style, we used Big Data and Data Mining to analyze the language, style, and content of every post, across a training set of millions on our platform, to create a model which works for all brands. The FTC Auditor helps brands ensure they reduce their risk exposure, while still benefiting from the proven gains of influencer marketing.” Jason Merkoski, Head of Data, TapInfluence
For more information:
The FTC Auditor: The technology will be immediately available to all TapInfluence customers. Customers may request an audit of a specific program, or an entire quarter’s worth of content, to ensure influencers have appropriately tagged posts per FTC regulations. TapInfluence currently provides automated disclosures in blogs and in-platform reminders to influencers who are executing programs on behalf of customers.
FTC Success Kit: Resources for both marketers and influencers that includes: a disclosures guide, an in-depth e-book on following FTC guidelines, and blog posts with additional helpful information.
FTC Compliance for Influencer Marketing Webinar: Free resource covering how to navigate evolving FTC guidelines for influencer marketing. The session covers the history of influencer marketing and the FTC, example best practices for disclosing partnerships and newsworthy case studies of FTC compliance and non-compliance.
To learn more about TapInfluence FTC Auditor please click on this link.
TapInfluence is the leading influencer marketing technology and marketplace of content creators coupled with strategic services. The company enables Fortune 1000 brands to tap into the power of influencers and content creators leveraging their authentic, trusted voices. TapInfluence helps customers increase market share through massive reach and optimized engagement to achieve real sales lift. In a recent independent study, TapInfluence proved that influencer marketing drives 11x the ROI versus any other form of digital media.
TapInfluence’s Fortune 1000 customers include Kraft, Horizon Organic, Silk, Express, Fossil as well as top agencies such as Golin, CurrentPR, RhythmOne, and Ketchum. TapInfluence is privately held, with offices Mountain View, Calif. and Denver, Colo. The company is backed by leading venture capital firms Noro-Moseley Partners, Grotech Ventures, Access Venture Partners and Knollwood Investment Advisory. For more information, visit www.tapinfluence.com or follow @TapInfluence on Twitter.