Are You a Brand Engaging a Social Media Influencer? Here’s Why You Need to Use a Contract

Influencer marketing is an industry that was worth $15 billion by the end of 2022 with an expected growth of at least 50% each year. As more and more brands are choosing to use influencers for marketing their business, the best way to manage this working relationship is by using an agreement.

Your agreement should include (but is not limited to);

➕Duration of posts and expected activity when promoting your product/service – number of posts, quality of photos, etc.

➕Payment terms, contract timeframe & exclusivity (eg. Can the influencer work for competitors while engaged by your brand?)

➕Intellectual property – who owns the content being created

➕Disclosure to their audience that the posts are commercial in nature whether paid/sponsored/gifted

➕Dispute resolution – what the recourse is for not meeting contractual obligations

And of course, an agreement should abide by all relevant laws & industry codes.

If a contract is in place and a party did not meet their contractual obligation to you, this can help resolve the issues at hand. It gets much harder when there are no written agreements in place outlining what is expected of each party.

AANA (the Australian Association of National Advertiser’s) have a code of ethics for influencer marketing and can be contacted through their website for assistance here. AANA exists to promote all forms of responsible marketing through the self-regulation of advertising content that meets prevailing community standards.

Influencers and business owners should also be aware of potential legal issues from using social media platforms. Here is a brief overview of the most common issues:

Privacy Breaches/Disclosure of Private Information

It’s possible when publishing posts to accidentally disclose confidential information. Social media platforms can also sometimes experience data breaches or cyber hacks from cyber criminals. Check the Privacy Policies of any social media platforms to understand how your personal information is used and protect your accounts with as much security as possible.

Misleading or False Statements

Under Australian Consumer Law, a business must not make any misleading or false statements in relation to the goods or services they are selling, which includes advertising on social media.

Brands and influencers alike must be cautious to advertise their working relationship properly as per any relevant laws.

Defamation

Every social media user is considered a publisher in the eyes of the law, and by extension this can include page owners as well as moderators of social media groups. Publishing defamatory material on social media has the potential to be widely shared rapidly, causing further significant harm to the defamed person’s reputation and increasing legal liability for those involved in publishing and sharing the defamatory publication.

A recent story that highlights the risk of this is when the owner of a popular Instagram account @influencer.updates.au shared she had been served with a legal letter due to comments under a post about an Aussie celebrity.

She explained in an Instagram story why comments had been turned off on some posts.

“I was served a legal letter at my house,” she wrote.

“It wasn’t a cease & desist. It was a defamation concerns notice for particular comments on particular posts (that have now been removed).

“I spoke to two lawyers who agreed the comments would be almost impossible to prove as defamatory.

“But, it’s not something I want to be worrying about and I also don’t want any of you getting dragged into legal issues for your comments.”

Remember! Always be mindful of the content being shared on any of your social media pages.

Intellectual Property Infringement

Ensure you have the right to distribute, use or share any copyrighted material that belongs to someone else. Plagiarism, trade mark breaches, or copying and claiming someone’s else work as your own can be a breach of Intellectual Property laws.

Throwback to when our lawyer Isabel presented a legal masterclass with Lift Women Group and Legally Yours on this topic – Understanding the Law; your guide to content creation and law on social media.

Check Out Our Social Media Influencer Agreement Contract Template

Our newest offering in our online contract template store is our Social Media Influencer Agreement for brands wishing to engage an influencer as part of their marketing. It can also be used by social media influencers working with brands.

It’s a cost effective alternative to hiring a solicitor to draft one for you, and the best part is it was created by our team of commercial lawyers. Available as an instant download after purchase, you can easily customise each section to suit your business. View it here and peruse the rest of our contract templates available here.

Need assistance with engaging an influencer? Contact our office here.