The FTC Auditor, from the leading influencer marketing technology, protects brands and influencers from FTC violations
TapInfluence has taken a leadership stance in the martech industry by announcing the launch of The FTC Auditor for social media and influencer marketing. This the world’s first automated Federal Trade Commission (FTC) compliance tool for influencers and social media marketers. By deploying The FTC Auditor in their marketing campaigns, brand enterprises can avoid hefty penalties for non-disclosure activities.
The launch of The FTC Auditor is the first of many developed directly upon data science findings and TapInfluence’s unique, foundational data set.
Jason Merkoski, Head of Data, TapInfluence identifies the exact reason why TapInfluence decided to come up with The FTC Auditor for social media and influencer marketing. Merkoski states, “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.”
How does The FTC Auditor by TapInfluence Work?
The new technology by TapInfluence powering The FTC Auditor algorithmically checks and verifies influencer-generated content for FTC compliance using historical AI algorithms. It showcases the convergence of advanced data science concepts, 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.
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.
Why did TapInfluence Introduce The FTC Auditor?
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.
FTC fines made big waves in the marketing and branding ecosystem when Warner Brothers had to settle for an undisclosed penalty amount for not disclosing FTC audit results. Earlier in 2015, LifeLock agreed to settle for $100 million for overlooking a similar FTC ruling.
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 FTC Auditor technology will be immediately available to all TapInfluence customers, effective April 12. 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.