fbpx

0420 Inc.

Terms of Service

SOCIAL MEDIA ENDORSEMENT POLICY

Purpose and Scope

0420 Inc. is committed to transparency and honesty in all of its advertising messages and promotional communications with consumers. One of the most common ways to advertise and market products and services in social media is to use third party endorsements. Like other types of advertising, endorsements must be truthful and not misleading. Consumers must understand when a social media endorsement is sponsored by us.

This Policy applies to all agencies, independent contractors, speakers, writers, bloggers, talent, influencers, and any other individual or entity engaged in promotional communications on behalf of 0420 Inc. on social media. This Policy also applies to our employees and agencies who manage these individuals and entities and employees who promote the company and its products, services, or brands on their personal social media accounts.

Defining an Endorser Covered by This Policy

An individual or entity communicating on social media is covered by this Policy if its promotional messages about 0420 Inc. or our products, services, or brands are sponsored by us (“Sponsored Endorser”). If the individual or entity is acting independently, it is not subject to this Policy.

A message is sponsored by us if we have a material connection with the individual or entity. A material connection is a tie to us which if known to consumers might make consumers question the credibility of the endorser or materially affect the weight consumers place on the endorsement. It puts the endorser’s independence in question. For example, 0420 Inc. creates a material connection if we do any of the following either directly or through an advertising agency, public relations firm, or other third party:

  • Hire an agency to blog, post, or serve as a community manager on our behalf (both the agency and its employees then become Sponsored Endorsers).
  • Enter into an agreement with an individual to blog or post.
  • Pay an individual to blog or post.
  • Provide free accommodations or travel to an individual for a company event or experience.
  • Provide discounts, sweepstakes entries, or other incentives to an individual.
  • Provide an individual with free prizes for giveaways or sweepstakes on social media platforms.
  • Provide an individual with free samples to review on social media platforms.
  • Provide an individual with free samples after that person has blogged or posted independently, especially if providing the free samples creates the expectation of additional free samples (which makes the individual a Sponsored Endorser going forward, not retroactively).
  • Engage affiliate marketers to advertise, blog, endorse, or sell on our behalf (making the affiliates and their employees Sponsored Endorsers).

0420 Inc. can turn our everyday consumers into Sponsored Endorsers by:

  • Establishing a consumer marketing program that gives members free products or services, coupons, discounts, or other benefits.
  • Providing incentives to consumers to review our products or services.
  • Requiring sweepstakes or contest participants to post photos of our products or brands as part of their entries.

This list, though comprehensive, is not exhaustive. Check with Authorized company officer for any questions about whether certain behavior or actions has created or will create a material connection with a third party.

Note that 0420 Inc. employees have a material connection to 0420 Inc. so are also considered to be Sponsored Endorsers. This Policy requires employees to clearly and conspicuously disclose their connection to us when promoting 0420 Inc. or our products, services, and brands on social media. Recommendations and requirements for clear employee disclosure language are listed in Appendix A to this Policy.

Sponsored Endorsers Must Comply with Our Standards of Conduct

With respect to promotional statements or other claims made on social media platforms about 0420 Inc. and our products, services, and brands, Sponsored Endorsers must adhere to the following principles:

  • They may only make statements that:
  • reflect their honest beliefs, opinions, or experiences; and
  • are transparent about their connection to us.
  • They may not:
  • make deceptive or misleading claims to consumers about our products or services, or our competitors’ products or services;
  • make any claims about our products or services, or our competitors’ products or services, that are not backed up by evidence;
  • disclose any of our confidential information;
  • engage in any communication that is defamatory or infringes upon the intellectual property, privacy, or publicity rights of others;
  • offer for sale or solicit products on behalf of 0420 Inc.;
  • make offensive comments that have the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating or hostile environment;
  • use ethnic slurs, personal insults, obscenity, or other offensive language; and
  • make any comments or post any content that in any way promotes unsafe activities that could lead to an unsafe situation involving 0420 Inc.’s consumers or other individuals.
  • They must adhere to:
  • the posted guidelines and terms of use on any site on which they post content on behalf of 0420 Inc.; and
  • any additional guidelines provided by 0420 Inc., such as product, service, or brand-specific program requirements.

Sponsored Endorsers must also refrain from creating fake followers or engagement on social media platforms, such as:

  • Buying followers.
  • Using bots to grow audience size by automating account creation, following, commenting, and liking.

Disclosing a Material Connection Clearly and Conspicuously

When posting about our products or services, 0420 Inc. requires Sponsored Endorsers to disclose their material connection to us clearly and conspicuously. If a Sponsored Endorser has multiple material connections to us, the full extent should be disclosed.

This policy does not require specific language to disclose a material connection, but Sponsored Endorsers must communicate the material connection effectively so that consumers:

  • Can easily find it.
  • Can easily understand it.
  • Obtain sufficient information to make a judgment about the credibility of the endorsement.

Consult Appendix A to this Policy for examples of language that successfully communicate a material connection and language that does not do so.

To ensure a disclosure is clear and conspicuous, appropriate consideration should be given to the limitations and nature of the platform being used. Sponsored Endorsers must:

  • Ensure the disclosure is:
  • well-placed so it can be easily noticed; and
  • prominent so it can be easily read.
  • Avoid burying the disclosure:
  • in a bio;
  • below the fold;
  • in a hyperlink, like a “Legal” or “Disclosure” button; or
  • among a series of hashtags, other disclosures, or general copy.
  • Superimpose a material connection disclosure on images, including on Snapchat and Instagram Stories. The disclosure should be:
  • easy to notice and read in the time that followers have to look at the image; and
  • well-contrasted against the image.
  • In video posts, including podcasts:
  • place the disclosure both within the video itself, and in the description of the video; and
  • display the disclosure long enough for a consumer to be able to read and understand it.
  • In Instagram posts, disclose a material connection before the “More” button.
  • For a live stream, repeat the disclosure as needed to ensure that consumers see it or keep it posted throughout the live stream.
  • If the posts are part of an online chat or tweets, or a similar thread, make the disclosure clearly in the first entry into the conversation thread, and then add to subsequent entries at 3-10 entry intervals depending on the media and the length of the thread.
  • Disclose the material connection even when just tagging a brand or product in a photo.
  • For a television or radio talk show appearance, disclose the material connection verbally when promoting our products, services, and brands.

If we ask consumers to promote our products, services, and brands on social media in exchange for the chance to win a prize, the official rules must require entrants to disclose the fact that the entrant’s post is an entry into a contest or sweepstakes. Whether the products, services, and brands are promoted in a text, a hashtag, a photo, or a video, the entry post must include some clear and conspicuous indicator that the consumer has received an entry in a promotion in exchange for the post. For example, the official rules could require entrants to use a specific hashtag disclosing that the post is a sweepstakes or contest entry. Failure to make the disclosure should disqualify the entry.

We should avoid encouraging endorsements that use features that do not allow for clear and conspicuous disclosures, such as likes, Pins, or shares, if the absence of that disclosure is likely to be misleading.

If we run a social media endorsement campaign outside the US and the product, service, or brand is sold in the US, we must require a disclosure if the posts are likely to be seen by and to affect US consumers.

A social media platform may have a required tool or feature for paid endorsements. Although these tools or features must be used to comply with the platform’s rules, they should not be relied on alone to meet FTC disclosure requirements.

What We Must Provide to Sponsored Endorsers

When 0420 Inc. engages a Sponsored Endorser, either directly or through a service provider, the Sponsored Endorser must sign either:

  • An agreement outlining the business terms of the arrangement and the guidelines set forth in this Policy.
  • A statement agreeing to comply with the guidelines set forth in this Policy.

0420 Inc. must also provide Sponsored Endorsers with:

  • Message points, facts sheets, or other similar talking points about the products or services at issue, that do not necessarily prescribe what the endorser should say, but include:
  • a list of claims about the company’s product or service that the company has substantiated; and
  • guidance on what the Sponsored Endorser cannot say about the company’s product or service.
  • Links to or copies of FTC guidance on endorsements (which can be found on the FTC’s website), specifically:
  • Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (Endorsement Guides).
  • The FTC’s Endorsement Guides: What People are Asking.
  • The Do’s and Don’ts for Social Media Influencers.
  • Disclosures 101 for Social Media Influencers, and its associated video: Do you endorse things on social media?
  • General guidance on the FTC Endorsement Guides and encouragement to educate themselves on all FTC endorsement guidance. For example, inform Sponsored Endorsers that:
  • they should not assume their followers know about their connection to us;
  • opinions should be based on their own honest beliefs and experiences;
  • they should refrain from making statements about our products or services that are measurable, other than those on the fact sheets we have provided; and
  • any comparisons must be based on actual, personal experiences with all products being compared because they should not extrapolate beyond personal experiences. For example, a Sponsored Endorser could say “I liked the Company product the best of the products I tried,” but should not say “No other product tastes better than the Company product” because the endorser probably has not tried all the products in our category.

We should advise Sponsored Endorsers that we plan to monitor their posts to ensure the accuracy of any measurable claims they make about our products or services and that they have adequately disclosed their material connection to us.

Monitoring Sponsored Endorsers

Employees or Brands responsible for Sponsored Endorser relationships or campaigns must regularly monitor the postings of Sponsored Endorsers, either directly or through their agencies. Employees or Brands must also ensure that:

  • Every Sponsored Endorser campaign or relationship has monitoring responsibilities clearly identified. If one of our service providers is to conduct the monitoring:
  • it must be given appropriate training on this Policy; and
  • its contract or statement of work must make it responsible and liable for monitoring.
  • Sponsored Endorsers:
  • always disclose their material connection to our brands in a clear and conspicuous manner;
  • are not making unsubstantiated claims about our products or services; and
  • are otherwise complying with this Policy and any other guidance we have provided.
  • Contest and sweepstakes entries that promote our products, services, and brands in social media are included in the monitoring, and entries that fail to use a material connection disclosure are disqualified.
  • Monitoring of a Sponsored Endorser continues for a minimum of four weeks past the end of our relationship (for example, the contract expiration date or the last time we sent free samples). For longer campaigns or relationships, it may be necessary to monitor for more than four weeks.
  • Prior to the launch of any campaign or relationship, the brand sends to its product or service information team the relevant details about the campaign.

When a Sponsored Endorser Fails to Comply with This Policy

0420 Inc. must correct any failure to disclose a material connection or communication of any unsubstantiated claims by a Sponsored Endorser. The employee team responsible for the Sponsored Endorser must take the following steps:

  • If an agency or other third party manages or is otherwise involved with the Sponsored Endorser relationship, alert the third party to the issue.
  • Consult with an authorized company officer to determine whether a correction is needed, and how best to make it.
  • If needed, require the Sponsored Endorser to make the correction or post the correction on the Sponsored Endorser’s post or page directly.
  • Determine if it is necessary to:
  • withhold payment from the Sponsored Endorser; or
  • terminate the relationship with the Sponsored Endorser.

All written agreements with Sponsored Endorsers must give 0420 Inc. the right to take any of these corrective measures for noncompliance with this Policy.

Training on This Policy

All employees and Sponsored Endorsers must have knowledge of this Policy. 0420 Inc. is responsible for providing the necessary training on this Policy. The following employees, individuals, functions, and third parties are required to receive in-depth training on this Policy:

  • 0420 Inc. marketers.
  • Corporate Communications employees.
  • Creative agencies and other third-party service providers who manage relationships with any of our Sponsored Endorsers. Employees responsible for hiring or managing these third parties must ensure they receive the training.
  • Sponsored Endorsers expected to have a long-term relationship with us.

Contact Anthony Sabia to arrange for training on this Policy.

Compliance with Related Policies

All of our other policies that apply to social media use remain in full force and effect.

Administration of This Policy

Company management is responsible for the administration of this Policy. All employees are responsible for consulting and complying with the most current version of this Policy. If you have any questions regarding this Policy, please contact the Anthony Sabia.

Acknowledgment of Receipt and Review

By registering for the 0420 Inc. Affiliate Program you acknowledge that you have read a copy of this policy and understand and agree to comply with its terms and; understand that 0420 Inc. expressly reserves the right to change, modify, or delete the provisions of this policy at any time without notice.

You further acknowledge that you are employed at will, that 0420 Inc. may terminate the employment relationship whenever it so determines, and that this policy does not modify my at will employment status.

BEST PRACTICES FOR DISCLOSURE LANGUAGE

As stated in the Policy, Sponsored Endorsers are required to disclose material connections to 0420 Inc.. Listed below is sample disclosure language. Alternative but substantively comparable language may also be used where appropriate. Although 0420 Inc. does not require specific disclosure language, it does prohibit certain hashtags and other disclosure practices specifically found by the FTC as insufficient. The goal for a material connection disclosure is to ensure it is readily seen and understood by consumers and accurately describes our relationship with the Sponsored Endorser.

Statements about the material connection should identify the nature of the connection, such as:

  • For receipt of free products:
  • I received free (products/services/samples) from 0420 Inc. (or other brand);
  • 0420 Inc. (or other brand) sent me free (products/services/samples) to review;
  • 0420 Inc. (or other brand) gave me this product to try; or
  • Thanks 0420 Inc. (or other brand) for the free products or services.
  • For paid Sponsored Endorsers:
  • I was paid by 0420 Inc. (or other brand);
  • I was hired by 0420 Inc. (or other brand) to post about its products or services;
  • I have partnered with 0420 Inc. (or other brand) to promote its products or services; or
  • I am a paid brand ambassador for 0420 Inc..
  • For receipt of travel and accommodations:
  • 0420 Inc. paid for my travel and hotel to (visit its headquarters/sample its products/attend the launch of its new product/see a demonstration of its services/other).
  • For receipt of a prize to be given away in a sweepstakes or contest:
  • 0420 Inc. (or other brand) is providing the prize(s) for this program at no cost to me.
  • For incentivized consumer reviews:
  • I received a (sweepstakes entry/discount/coupon/other) for making this review.
  • I am part of 0420 Inc.’s (or other brand’s) program that gives me free (samples/ coupons/discounts/other benefits); or
  • Reviewers on this page received a (sweepstakes entry/discount/coupon/other) for making their reviews.
  • For personal relationships:
  • I am [a friend of/related to/the (other relationship) of (name of company principal).
  • For other material connections:
  • “Advertisement”;
  • “Sponsored”;
  • “Paid ad”; or
  • “Ad:” (this would go at the beginning of the statement to indicate the statement is an ad).
  • For television or radio talk show appearances where our product, service, or brand will be promoted, a Sponsored Endorser should verbally make the material connection to us known, such as stating:
  • 0420 Inc. [or other brand] gave me this _____ (product or sample) _____;
  • I was paid by 0420 Inc. (or other brand) to…; or
  • I am working with (brand name/company) to….

If using a hashtag to identify a material connection, make it unambiguous, such as:

  • #ad.
  • #paid.
  • #sponsored.
  • #[name of brand]ambassador.
  • #[name of brand]endorser.
  • #[name of brand]partner.

Avoid ambiguous hashtags to identify material connections, such as:

  • #sp.
  • #spon.
  • #thanks[name of brand].
  • #team[name of brand].
  • #ambassador.
  • #consultant.
  • #partner.
  • #adviser.
  • #collab.

Additionally, if a Sponsored Endorser has posted a “Disclosure and Relationships Statement” section on their blog, website, profile page, or similar site, the statement should:

  • Fully disclose how the endorser is working with us.
  • Disclose how the endorser works with other companies generally.
  • List any conflicts of interest that may affect the credibility of the sponsored or paid reviews.

For 0420 Inc. employees:

  • Be clear about the employer-employee relationship with us, such as:
  • I am an employee of 0420 Inc.;
  • I work for 0420 Inc.;
  • #0420 Inc._Employee; or
  • My company ….
  • Do not use an ambiguous hashtag like #ee or even #employee.

 

Join Our Network Today!

Join 0420 Inc.’s newsletter to receive notices and discounts on our events, hemp & cannabis industry information and case studies.

Get Started Today!

Contact Columns