Did You Know: Stories Need Disclosures Too!


When Obviously was founded, we were one of the first companies in a brand new space. We grew up along with the influencer marketing industry, and we’ve seen a lot of changes. The days are long past when relationships between brands and influencers were under the surface and the rules surrounding them were loose and unregulated. It’s been well over a year since the FTC published their official guidelines regarding how influencers should disclose their relationships with brands, and for the most part influencers have mastered the new rules. Obviously influencers in particular have become diligent about disclosing every brand relationship on their Instagram feed. They understand the value of transparency as well as the potential risks of not being straightforward.

But that’s not always the case for Instagram Stories. Perhaps because of their casual nature, or the fact that they disappear in 24 hours, many influencers have been lax about disclosing brand relationships on Stories, even if they are vigilant about it on their permanent feed. Some influencers assume that brands and regulators aren’t really concerned about Stories, so will let them slide. Others genuinely don’t realize that the same guidelines that apply to their feed also apply to their Stories.

Here are some useful tips on how to disclose your brand partnerships on Instagram Stories.

1.) Use #AD or #Sponsored on every frame.

Sometimes viewers will miss the first frame and not see the disclosure, or the first frame will disappear before the others, leaving your Stories open and undisclosed. A simple #AD in the corner of each frame is an easy way to make sure your disclosure is present and consistent.

2.) Use legible fonts and contrasting colors

The goal is for the disclosure to be visible, not for it to blend into the background. Don’t use transparent colors or crazy fonts in an effort to hide your disclosure!

3.) If your Story is a video, you can state your disclosure out loud.

Make sure your disclosure is clear at direct and comes at the beginning of your video. For example, you could say “I’ve partnered up with Sephora to talk about their new face masks…” and go on from there. However, if your video is followed up by a single frame image, you should still include #AD there.

4.) When in doubt, err on the side of more disclosure.

This is the best rule of thumb all around. If you’re asking yourself if a certain type of disclosure would manage to “slip by” without being noticed, you’re not thinking about it correctly. The goal is to be as proud and upfront as possible about our collaborations! Working with great brands is a sign of success, and your followers will see it that way too.

If your excitement is genuine, they’ll be just as happy as you are.

Questions about disclosures or FTC guidelines? Leave them in the comments!

Emily BarozComment