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Social Media Influencer Disputes

Legally reviewed by:
Wyn Legal team

An influencer is someone that has developed a large following on social media and uses their account to promote themselves, a cause or a product.

The number of social media influencers are increasing and so are the rules and regulations impacting influencers which are resulting in disputes. Irrespective of which social platform an influencer uses to promote themselves or their product, it is essential there is compliance with the relevant rules and regulations.

It is important that influencers and businesses who intend to use influencers understand the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct and Promotional Marketing (“CAP Code”). The rules that influencers should be aware of within the Cap Code include:

  1. Ensuring marketing communications are legal, decent, honest and truthful.
  2. Marketing communications must be prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society.
  3. Marketers should deal fairly with consumers.
  4. Marketing communications must be obviously identifiable as such.
  5. Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.
  6. Marketing communication must not explicitly claim that the advertiser’s job or livelihood is in jeopardy if the consumer does not buy the advertised product.
  7. Marketing communications must not contain anything that is likely to cause serious or widespread offence.
  8. Marketers must take particular care not to include in their marketing material communications visual effects or techniques that are likely to adversely affect members of the public with photosensitive epilepsy. 
  9. Marketers must not confuse consumers by using unfamiliar scientific words for common conditions.
  10. Marketing communications must be socially responsible and must contain nothing that is likely to lead people to adopt styles of alcohol consumption that are unwise.

Social media can start off being fun but can very quickly escalate into a serious commercial venture. It is therefore recommended that social media influencers have suitable contracts in place when partnering up with other causes or ventures. A contract may include the following terms:

  1. The length of any venture with a partner.
  2. Clarity on how to terminate a venture with a partner.
  3. Clarity on the timing, content, length and platforms for any social media posts which have been agreed. 
  4. Ensuring there is clarity on what you can and cannot do as set out by the Advertising Standards Authority and the CAP Code.
  5. Clarity on any information which should remain confidential.
  6. Payment terms or benefit in kind that will be received following the social media posts.

Our solicitors can assist social media influencers or businesses who intend to use a social media influencer on the following:

  1. Complying with the CAP-Code.
  2. Ensuring suitable contractual documents are in place prior to engaging with a partner.
  3. Dealing with breach of contract matters.
  4. Responding to false and defamatory statements left by users on social media comments or direct messages. 
  5. Responding to online harassment or bullying.
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