Three FTC Social Media Disclosures You Should Know

ftc social media

By: Kelsea, Social Media Director

Social media has grown from a simple place to connect friends and family to a marketplace for brands of all sizes. Various social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have allowed brands to reach consumers through engaging content, low-cost advertising and influencer partnerships. These partnerships are used to promote brands and their products across all markets and industries. As social media has become an integral part of companies’ business and advertising plans, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has had to adjust its regulations to encompass the digital space. The FTC’s mission is to protect consumers from unfair or misleading acts in commerce. Basically, they make sure consumers know when they are being advertised to.  

These regulations come with requirements from brands. To ensure your company is abiding by the FTC regulations, social media professionals should familiarize themselves with the guidelines pertaining to social media use. Below are three debated and commonly overlooked disclosure requirements by the FTC: 


With over 300K sponsored posts published to Instagram in the month of July alone, the FTC is making it easier for consumers to understand when influencers are being paid to post about their “favorite” brands. Recently, the FTC reached out to over 90 influencers to address how they disclose their posts on social media. The FTC said that influencers must use clear hashtags, such as #ad or #sponsored and cannot hide them within groups of hashtags. The guidelines also stated that all disclosures on Instagram should be made within the first three lines of copy so users do not have to click the “more” button to view disclosures. Along with this, the FTC created a FAQ titled FTC’s Endorsements Guides: What People Are Asking to help guide influencers and brands through the disclosure process.

While many brand managers find disclosures intrusive, influencer endorsements continue to drive sales. Many influencers only agree to promote products they truly use and love, therefore gaining trust from their followers even when #ad leads a post.  


Sponsored posts are not the only types of social media content that require proper disclosure. When hosting giveaways on social media, brands must be aware of the platform rules provided by Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, legal guidelines and disclosures required by the FTC. If any contest asks social media users to share or upload a post and/or picture as a form of entry, the user is required to include #sweepstakes or #contest within their social media post. This shows the users’ followers that they are not organically promoting the brand involved, but using the content shared to participate in a contest.

While this may seem to take away from the authenticity of the brand, social media contests are great ways to reach new audiences and still allow social media users to add their own creative approach to the content they share as a form of entry. 


Influencers are not the only social media users required to post disclosure statements when promoting their “favorite” products. If you work for a brand or agency, you too must disclose when sharing any posts relating to your employer’s products or clients. The best way to ensure you’re adhering to this requirement is to include #client on any posts relating to brands you work with and sharing truthful reviews when posting.

Employers can ensure employees are properly using social media by including posting guidelines within their employee handbooks and periodically reminding employees of the policy.

As social media continues to dominate the branding and advertising space, the FTC is beginning to more closely monitor content on various platforms. This means ongoing regulation updates and strict enforcement. To ensure your clients and brands are not penalized for their actions on social media, make sure you’re up-to-date on FTC guidelines and don’t push the limits when it comes to disclosures. Stay in the clear by always disclosing in a clear and conspicuous manner.


The post Three FTC Social Media Disclosures You Should Know appeared first on 5W PR News and Updates, NY Public Relations Agency Blog.

Global Digital OOH Campaign Promotes Warner Bros Dunkirk Release

Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated WWII epic ‘Dunkirk,’ was released globally, promoted by an extensive digital out of home campaign.

The film tells the miraculous story of the evacuation of Allied soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk, France during WWII. The Warner Bros blockbuster debuted at number one and is a box office sensation.

To support the Warner Bros film release of ‘Dunkirk’, Grand Visual produced static and motion creative for 32 countries. The campaign included our largest order to date from Central America which comprised of several localisations and a large range of formats.

This year we have seen a rise in the number of international markets requesting customised or localised creative and an increase in the number of digital OOH formats we are producing creative for.

The number of markets embracing digital OOH with bespoke requests and the growing scale of our international digital OOH campaigns are a testament to the growing global digital landscape.

The post Global Digital OOH Campaign Promotes Warner Bros Dunkirk Release appeared first on Grand Visual Creative.

Lidl becomes UK’s seventh largest grocery retailer

News stories that either Lidl or Aldi has gained a position in the retailer rankings are becoming increasingly common and all the evidence points to further gains ahead. While there had previously been some talk of their growth slowing, Kantar’s …
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The post Lidl becomes UK’s seventh largest grocery retailer appeared first on Savvy Thinking.

How to Write the Perfect Twitter Bio: 2017 Edition


By Michelle Greenbaum, Copywriter

“Tell us a little bit about yourself. Now cut that in half… Now cut that in half again. Hey, we said a little bit!” –Twitter

Okay, Twitter didn’t say that, but that’s basically what they meant when they gave us 160 characters to define who we are, what we do, and why we do it. It can be difficult to explain everything about you or your brand in so few words, so here we share some of our tried-and-true methods to help you find the right words.

For Brands

Are you running a service-oriented support account? Or are you on the platform to market and entertain? Your brand’s Twitter bio should set these expectations. Mandatories for support accounts include on-duty hours, a dedicated email address for inquiries, and if you serve multiple markets, the languages you’re able to support. Once the basics are taken care of, you can use the rest of the characters available to let your brand’s personality shine.

Remember: Social media revolves around people. Nobody wants to talk to a company; they want to talk to a human. That means copying and pasting your brand’s mission statement into your bio won’t do the trick. Use an authentic voice to tell what your company does, not what your company is.

✖ Food Delivery Service
✔ Feeding hungry couch potatoes across America.

✖ Laundry Detergent Pen
✔ Saving your stained shirt from ruining first dates and job interviews.

✖ Coffee Beans
✔ Preparing you for civilization one morning at a time.

Make sure the tone of your brand’s bio mimics what fans will see in the feed—if they like what they read, they’ll be motivated to follow you for more.

For Professionals

“Millennial” and “multihyphenate” are synonymous. (I’m looking at you, Student-Athlete-Brother-Dog Dad.) Your Twitter bio is the perfect place to show off your accomplishments, but there is some fine tuning you can do to sound less packaged and more real. Here are three tips.

1.    Avoid buzzwords like guru, innovative, and enthusiast.

  • Instead of declaring yourself a “chocoholic,” tell us about the best dessert you’ve ever eaten.

2.    Say what you are, not what you wish you were.

  • You’re not just an “aspiring musician,” you “convinced the local old folks’ home to give you a weekly gig.”

3.    Use keywords, hashtags, mentions, and links.

  • “Once cried in public after high-fiving @MarcusMariota at a bar. 🏈 #GoDucks”

Need some help with your Twitter bio? Contact the Likeable Media team to learn more! 

We respect your privacy.

Thank you!

What can the solar eclipse teach us about an underused marketing tool?

There are a thousand different ways to make the solar eclipse seem relevant to marketing. There are a thousand think-pieces focusing on how brands are hopping on the eclipse bandwagon, or how the memorable nature of an event like this is an excellent retail opportunity, or how the inherent virality of an event like this can boost guerilla marketing efforts. Those are all well and good, but the eclipse is an excellent opportunity to look at an extremely valuable yet underutilized marketing tool: Google Trends

Trends is a free tool put out by Google that tells you how popular a search term or topic is relative to everything else being searched. Google Trends has a really interesting overview on the solar eclipse, showing the most common searches related to the eclipse, the interest in solar eclipse glasses, and even the interest in solar versus lunar eclipses in the United States over the last five years.

It’s neat stuff, but what does it have to do with marketing? Google Trends is useful to marketers because it is the easiest and cheapest way to get an overview of what the general public has any level of interest in. Think of it this way, following the trends on a site like Twitter tells you what people care enough to talk about online, but does it tell you much about what they’re passively interested in? On the other hand, Google Trends tells you the little things they had any sort of interest in and is very useful for back of the napkin calculations.

Say you are looking for a spokesperson and want to compare two actresses from a very popular show like Game of Thrones. It might seem obvious that Diana Riggs (Olenna Tyrell) is a better choice than Indira Varma (Ellaria Sand), but Google Trends goes further than just guesswork. You can compare exactly how many people searched for each of them in the time frame when they were both on the show.

That’s a pretty simple example, but it can be taken further, such as seeing how often a brand was searched for before, during, and after they ran a TV advertising campaign. It is not a perfect research tool, but it is extremely helpful for some preliminary calculations. Let’s take it a step further and show how it can be used in a more in-depth way.

Put yourself in the shoes of a small airport, let’s say Sarasota Bradenton International Airport in Florida. You know you are losing passengers to other larger airports nearby and you’re going to run an advertising campaign to try and fight back. You could commission an expensive study to track how well the campaign is going, or you can jury rig your own market research together using Google Trends. You already have access to sales volume and whatnot, but Trends gives you something else, how often people in your area are searching for particular airports regardless of where they fly out from. Limit your search to the metropolitan regions relevant to you and see how often each nearby airport is searched.

Analyze every 30 day period from when you start your advertising campaign and all of a sudden, you have a free and effective alternative to expensive market research. Is it perfect? No. It would be foolish to rely on this as your only source of research, but it is extremely useful for helping you close the gaps in your knowledge and quickly analyze your marketing efforts. Trends is even more useful when used in conjunction with other tools like Google Correlate and Google AdWords, but it is still a very helpful standalone tool that doesn’t get enough appreciation.

Creative Inspiration: 10 of the Best Bits of Content We Enjoyed this Summer

At Distilled, we’re always sharing the great content we happen to stumble across. That could be as simple as getting excited by the most recent Google doodle, or finding a more engaging graph style on Instagram. We wanted to share some of the very best content that has excited, engaged, or educated us with you too.

1. NukemapAlex Wellerstein

This map calculates the effects of the detonation of various real nuclear bombs, which is grimly fascinating.

Source: Nuclear Secrecy

2. International Cat Day AnimationGolden Wolf

The content calendar seems to be filled with more and more silly ‘holidays’, but judging by this animation, International Cat Day is one to be taken very seriously.

Source: Golden Wolf

3. 11th of August Google Doodle Google

Google Doodle is honouring the 44th anniversary of the birth of hip-hop with an original artwork created by Cey Adams, the iconic graffiti artist. You can change the BPM and use a crossfader on the doodle.

Source: it’s Nice That

4. Imagine Peace Book The Creative Corporation

Using the anniversary of John Lennon’s song imagine and it’s peaceful lyrics, the website encourages you to comment with your messages of peace in a time when the world feels quite troubled. It aims to inspire everyone to imagine a world full of freedom, friendship, equality, kindness, and understanding.


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5. Finishing the Bottom Half of Portraits – Kiwi

For shoe polish brand Kiwi, Ogilvy Chicago completed the bottom halves of famous paintings. They even held an exhibition to show off the works and weave in mentions of the Kiwi brand and products.

Source: Bored Panda

6. The History of RockIthaca Audio

Having made our own History of Rock in the past for Concert Hotels, we were interested to see Ithaca’s new take on a timeline, using the Facebook template to make a timeline, using real footage and actual quotes from legendary musicians as comments.

Source: Ithaca Audio

7. Love Freebies? Get Them LegallyHarvey Nichols

This might be a few years old, but it keeps popping back up as a really innovative video for Harvey Nichols. It shows real footage of shoplifters caught in the act, with their faces covered by funny animations.

8. I Fought the Law – Olivia Locher

Depicting strange laws with creative photography has made for a charming and educational photo series, shot by Olivia Locher.

Source: Olivia Locher

9. Olympic Bodies: Can You Guess Their Sport?The New York Times 

Different sports build your body in different ways. This long format piece looks at how Olympic sports change the shape of the human form.

Source: The New York Times

10. Mona Chalabi – Guardian Data Editor

Mona uses photography and illustration to make data a little more light-hearted. Our favourite is this little graph of dog name popularity in NY.

Source: Mona Chalabi

What content have you enjoyed lately? Let us know in the comments. 

Mr. Mercedes Bot Lets You Chat With Killer

Daily Brief: “Organic Facebook reach has become awfully tricky the past few years as the company has worked to better match users with relevant content. To get more than even a small percentage of followers to see page posts these days, brands generally have to pay for it, though there is at least one realm within the social network where the give-and-take remains unfettered by algorithms and other mysterious things that would digitally divide us: Facebook Messenger.

“People are still using social but moving away from writing on each other’s walls,” said Anna-Lucy Terry, director of audience development for the Mistress agency. “The WhatsApps and the Facebook Messengers are overtaking the social platforms, and the ways in which people share information and talk to brands.”

Mistress recently developed a Facebook Messenger campaign for Audience network’s new thriller Mr. Mercedes that shows what can be done with the technology: A chat-bot experience that uses artificial intelligence to let users talk one-on-one with the show’s sadistic serial killer, Brady. It’s a fun and unique way for a viewer to engage with the show, but even better, once that viewer is hooked, it’s a direct and unfettered way for the show to engage back.”

See the full article in the Daily Brief here.

A New, Weird Way: Revolutionary Films to Inspire Creative Thinking

I’ve been a film geek for as long as I can remember. I grew up in front of the big screen and even studied film in college. I’m absolutely fascinated by how, when, and where a film has made an impact to the types of stories that are told.

One of my favorite quotes about film comes from legendary filmmaker Tim Burton: “It’s good as an artist to always remember to see things in a new, weird way.” And that’s exactly what filmmakers have been doing for the last 100 years.

But seeing things in a “new, weird way” isn’t something only filmmakers do. In fact, it’s something we as advertisers do every day: We find new ways of interpreting our clients’ brands in light of what’s happening around us, so we can continue to keep their brands fresh and relevant in the minds of consumers.

For us in brand management, it’s our job to provide support for our teams to create good, strong work. And if you ever need to inspire creative thinking on your own teams, consider taking a lesson from these five revolutionary films that saw things in a new, weird way.

The Jazz Singer (1927)

Early on, film consisted of only moving images, no sound. But that all changed on December 30, 1927, when The Jazz Singer – the first feature film with sound, otherwise known as a “talkie” – came out. In the filmmakers’ quest to add a new layer to the cinematic experience, The Jazz Singer encourages us to challenge our teams to explore untraditional ways to use sight, sound, and motion. We take our senses for granted as tools to help us tell compelling stories, but how would our work change if we challenged those assumptions?

Check out these white line GIFs where designers placed two white lines on a 2D GIF to give it the illusion of a 3D clip. This simple design technique demonstrates how challenging the role your senses play in a creative concept can lead to unexpected and engaging results, and can help your creative break through the clutter.

Psycho (1960)

Director Alfred Hitchcock pioneered a new camera technique called “subjective camera movement” in his terrifying film Psycho, which forces the audience to see from a specific character’s point of view. This technique has become a staple in the horror and thriller movie genres due to its clever way of involving the audience in the story. With that in mind, to foster creative thinking, the film Psycho reminds us to consider a different point of view. Whether that’s changing your surroundings or sitting down with a teammate to understand their role in the creative process, use the world around you to inspire new ways of thinking.

At The Richards Group, we switch places with people in different disciplines to shake up our thought process while we simultaneously gain an appreciation for the job our teammates do each and every day.

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Though it had only a $60,000 budget, The Blair Witch Project became the most profitable film (percentage-wise) of all time, grossing $250 million worldwide by using inexpensive consumer camera equipment and creating a website to help the film reach audiences across the globe. The takeaway here is clear: Encourage your teams to embrace limitations. Don’t let a short production timeline or limited budget be the reason you don’t do something – have it be the reason you do something.

Here’s an example of some great work from our very own Mott’s team that used scrappy thinking to bring a brand-new website to life in a little under a week.

Memento (2000)

In this film told completely out of chronological order, Christopher Nolan’s editing style broke every editing convention previously established in Hollywood narrative storytelling, and he was rewarded for it with Academy Award nominations for Best Film Editing and Best Original Screenplay. Why not take a note from Memento and know the rules so you can break them. Challenge what is accepted as true, so that you and your team are constantly thinking of new ways to communicate your clients’ brands in a whole new way.

In 2015, REI made a conscious decision to break one of the most traditional rules in the retail space by closing their doors on Black Friday with their #OptOutside campaign, and they have been rewarded and praised by their consumers ever since.

Avatar (2009)

Director James Cameron had a specific vision for Avatar but found that the technology he needed to tell the story the way he wanted to didn’t exist just yet. Tired of waiting for technology to catch up, he took matters into his own hands and invented two new types of 3D film cameras specifically for the film, thus cementing his place in film history as an innovator in the 3D film space. Avatar teaches us to operate on this inspiring principal: Explore and build something new. When you remove the limitations of current technology, it’s exciting to think about what ideas your team will create next.

In 2010, our Home Depot team paired with Click Here Labs to launch the industry’s very first personalized video gift card, using technology purposefully to boost gift card sales.

Keep it weird.

Next time you and your team are feeling stuck, consider taking a lesson from film history to see things in a new, weird way. And remember, the takeaways from these films are just the tip of the iceberg. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how you choose to change your perspective or shake up your creative process. What really matters is that when you’re faced with a challenge, you remember that seeing things in a new, weird way is always an option.

The post A New, Weird Way: Revolutionary Films to Inspire Creative Thinking appeared first on The Richards Group.

What marketers can learn from Phish

“In a world gone mad, there must be something more than this.” This is a stadium-rockin’ lyric from one of Phish’s newer songs “More”, and sums up all that has and will go on from the band’s current 13 show run at Madison Square Garden, cleverly dubbed ‘Baker’s Dozen’.

For those of you who don’t have an obsessed Phish fan as a friend or family member, let’s start here. Phish is a band. Sometimes they are classified as a ‘jam’ band (a term I personally find pointless). They are a band that has existed since 1983, and has succeeded below the mainstream for more or less that entire time (outside of a few down years where the lead singer and guitarist lost his mind on drugs, but that’s a different story). They are sometimes classified in the same genre of the Grateful Dead for a variety of reasons, but let’s just say, they are a band that creates music most people cannot easily embrace. Rolling Stone has recently said of the band and this 13-show run, “the formula strikes a balance between well-laid surprises, long passages of relaxed conversational interplay, and the goofball groove-oriented exuberance that makes Phish repugnant to civilians and beloved to Phishheads.” Pretty much sums it up.

Within this special residency, come Sunday August 6, Phish will have played 13 shows and somewhere in the area of 260+ songs, with no repeats. Some are covers (including Tay Zonday’s Chocolate Rain), but for the most part they’re Phish originals. No other band alive has the ability to do this, period. No band could get away with it, no band could physically do it … or even care to. All this while selling out the most famous arena in America while no one else is paying attention besides a core group of fans (like myself). To this core group, this is the World Series. We track this in the way others follow Game of Thrones, politics, their favorite baseball team, The Bachelor (my wife), or whatever fun thing that makes you feel alive (and nerdy). Phish has certainly made these run of shows extra special for the live attendees, but has also offered up high def webcasts of every show for $25, reaching out the rest of the world of ‘phans’ who can’t be there. From a business standpoint, this band is crushing it. With that, I thought it was a good time to offer up my thoughts on what marketers can take away from this silent juggernaut … and maybe shed some light on what is actually going on with the business of Phish.


Having been in experiential and event marketing for 16+ years, I’ve certainly gotten into a few budget battles with clients over the ‘little’ things. Phish does not care about these debates. This band overspends on big things (their sound equipment and lighting being #1) but also focuses a lot on the little things that their fans (consumers) get excited about. During ‘Baker’s Dozen’ the tickets are card-stock printed in the shape of donuts to push on the theme. Each show is centered in some ways around a different donut flavor (from Federal Donuts in Philly – They have unique designs from a variety of artists, producing different merch for every show at every price level. They simply have made enough money in their lives, that they are focused on splurging at key moments to say thank to their old fans … and to make sure they keep it contemporary and intriguing to new 18 year olds looking to get involved. The old adage of ‘you gotta spend money to make money’ is never more alive than with Phish … and is true for every brand out there.


For the past several decades, Phish has normally traveled around the country during this summer period (like every other ‘normal’ band). For Baker’s Dozen, they took a huge risk of pissing a large portion of their fan base off by only staying in NYC. To try and thwart this, they’ve over-delivered to a point that most fans are still in awe of. Perfect fun. Perfect weirdness. Perfect inside jokes. Perfect variety. At least one 20-minute song per show. It’s what every Phish fan wants. It’s a big risk, for sure, but one that has had most fans applauding and thanking these group of 53-year-old white dudes they worship. Additionally, during these themed shows, there have been a variety of new cover songs that don’t necessarily fit within their standard tone as a band. It could have failed massively, but the band has built up so much good will over the years, that these risks are welcome diversions. Try something new. If it’s done with good intentions and love, truly passionate fans of your brand will respect you more in the long run for trying something out.


This is certainly a standard adage of biz … and something Coca-Cola probably has felt this past week from die hard Coke Zero fans … but it’s true! We’re always changing as people, life is always changing, and so do brands & bands. Much to the surprise of most non-Phish fans who just vaguely know and make fun of the band, they’ve been putting out new music their entire career. Like with risk, it doesn’t always work, there are certain songs that fans hate (myself included), but some of it works exceptionally well. In 2014 Phish debuted a live ‘album’ (of sorts) that is more or less devoid of lyrics and based off an album from 1964 of sound effects. Seriously, this happened. And to Phish fans, it was one of the greatest things that ever happened! It’s weird, it odd, it’s not easily accessible for a neophyte, it’s risky and I’m sure it was hard as hell from them to learn, but it paid off. Embrace the full evolution that is life. Change with it, run to the light, and magic can happen.


While change happens, and new works, so does nostalgia. Since 2009 especially, Phish has at the same time embraced new and nostalgia. In some ways, it is the new that makes the old even better. There are 30-year-old Phish songs that the band ‘could’ play every night, but they don’t … and that makes those times when they do all the much sweeter. For a certain segment of brands, there is a lot of untapped magic in the old, from time to time. I think there’s too much respect given to what’s next. While evolution is inevitable, and time keep ticking on, there is magic in history and to ‘going home’. Phish can play a 30-year-old song in a fresh new way on any given night … and it works for a 16-year kid who barely knows it … and that 40-year-old guy who fell in love with it in 1994.


This may be obvious, but this can’t be easy for them. These 4 guys are loaded now. They could phone this in and people would still give them all their cash … but they DON’T. Phish fans are highly critical. We all think we’re food / art / music critics … and will happily tell you what we think of each show … and since the dawn of the internet, have made these critiques well known and distributed. Phish has not talked much about their music in a way since 2009, or embraced publicly any dissection of it, but we all know they’re paying attention. They hear it and they care. These guys want to provide a quality product for a small segment of the population, and they work DAMN hard to do it. Brands like Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, NIKE, Sierra Nevada … they hear it, and they actually pay attention to try and make the brand experience a great one.


Phish has spent, what I can only assume, a ridiculous amount of money, time and effort on their own app, Live Phish, where for $10 / month you can listen to every Phish show minutes after it is over. The quality, sound and user experience is nearly perfect. In addition, a significant amount of all of Phish’s live shows over their history are on the app to listen to as well. Is there anything remotely like this from any other band right now? On top of that, the band’s twitter feed provides live updates of song lists in real time to track … and has an A-list photographer on staff at every show, providing awesome stage pics via social. Do they have to do this? Hell no! Is it an unnecessary cost at some level? YES! But, it’s these extra efforts, attention to detail and embracing new channels and technology that keeps it all fresh and from becoming a state fair act.

Listen, I know that this is certainly not for everyone. There are certain bands I love that I try to bring people into all the time. Phish is not one of them. They are weird. It’s full of inside jokes, odd fairly-tale style stories, the scene can be a bit much to take sometimes, and I get it. It’s certainly not for everyone … and I get how easy it is to make fun of. However, for brand, sponsorship and entertainment marketers, there is a LOT to learn from the way they run their business and the ‘product’ they provide their fans. You may never be able to talk to me about the nuances of the 1998 Riverport Bathtub Gin, but I could certainly get you to see the value of embracing certain commercial moves of Phish. If you can see through the smoke, there’s gold in there.

The post What marketers can learn from Phish appeared first on Jack Morton.