The legal side of influencer marketing – what to keep an eye on in 2022?

Media & Entertainment and Creative Industries
Business legal agreements
Marketing and consumer protection

Blogs and different social media platforms have existed for over a decade now and made influencer marketing a prominent and effective way of marketing products and services to the public. It has even been stated that not being visible on social media platforms will eventually mean that these products and services will not succeed. Many companies have indeed figured this out – several studies show that a remarkable share of companies will increase their influencer marketing budgets for the years to come.

Where the influencer marketing is increasing in importance, also the contractual backbone behind those successful deals must be even more scrutinized. At this point, the influencer marketing contracts vary a lot in comparison to the ‘traditional’ way of contracting on marketing campaigns. First of all, the vast majority of influencers (micro and nano influencers included) do not have a contract template of their own. Especially smaller influencers might not even have the understanding on contracting in general. Secondly, the number of influencers that are represented by talent agencies is also fairly low in Finland.

Influencer contracts in the future

Trends that we assume will affect the way we do influencer contracts in the future will be the following:

  • Use of micro and nano influencers will increase – this means that the companies willing to advertise through more “unprofessional” influencers will need to come up with an easy and fair contract template which offers sufficient protection for the company but also enables quick negotiations with the influencers – Legal Design could be a solution!

  • Long-term partnerships with influencers will increase – more attention to the way the marketing department / team does contracts with influencers will be needed

  • Where new social media platforms rise, you will need to adjust your terms to reflect 1. the platforms terms; and 2. how the content works on that specific platform

  • Performance-based deals will increase and thus how the commission is calculated on new platforms will need more attention – e.g. after a live-shopping event hosted by an influencer, how long and what products will the commission be paid of?

  • Traditionally companies have required influencers to avoid any statements which could harm the company’s reputation – due to the activism trend (e.g. for social justice) the obligation may need to be reconsidered in order to fit the trend

  • The importance of non-compete obligations will rise together with the above-mentioned activism and authenticity requirement. In fact, poorly scheduled collaborations with wrong influencers can create a backlash in social media e.g. Jodel afterwards and harm the company’s brands

  • Video content and livestreaming will be even more popular in the future: due to fewer possibilities of checking content beforehand, careful contracting will be very valuable in terms of what statements the influencer can and cannot make

Another change of mindset that the companies willing to do influencer marketing will need concerns the extent of ownership or licenses of the campaign content. Relevance is key – most of the time the relevance of social media content is even less than 3 months. Thus, it needs to be considered if the company’s requirements regarding licenses are reasonable when it comes to social media channels.

We have vast expertise on designing, drafting, and negotiating different types of marketing contracts, including influencer contracts, and we’re happy to help you with any questions you might have!