Consumer Rights and User-Generated Content Marketing
Today, thanks to the rise of social platforms and mobile devices, the practice of continuously creating and sharing content is becoming more ingrained in our daily lives. In this emerging space, marketing teams are looking to user-generated content (UGC) as a gold mine of authentic and evergreen media. And for good reason — numerous studies suggest that this type of earned media is significantly more effective in improving consumer engagement with brands.
However, while the use of UGC has boomed, the intellectual property laws underpinning brand use of third party materials remain the same, regardless of the ease with which consumers can create and share content, and brands can interact with consumers and celebrities alike, in today’s digital world. Recently, we were joined by Davis and Gilbert LLP’s Vejay Lalla and Paavana Kumar to provide an overview of those laws, offer real-world examples and cases to illustrate the potential risks of using UGC, and discuss best practices and tactics that can help mitigate some of these risks in order to more successfully and safely leverage UGC.
Ensure consumers understand the nature of the use of their content at a minimum by communicating with them in your promotion posts or other copy. Do not use content beyond the scope of your promise to consumers.
Be careful with celebrities, even if a post doesn’t strongly imply an affiliation or endorsement. Celebrities’ reactions to these types of posts have varied: while Katherine Heigl sued Duane Reade for posting a picture of her coming out of their store, Pharrell Williams playfully responded to Arby’s Tweet about his hat at the Grammys.
Be cognizant of providing proper disclosures when working with influencers. Ensure that sponsored posts, including influencer and blogger posts, include clear and conspicuous disclosures in accordance with the FTC’s current endorsement guidelines so that consumers are aware that the content is sponsored
Download Davis and Gilbert’s handout for agencies, advertisers, and publishers around native advertising, social media, and UGC here.