A Legal Tiptoe Through the Hot World of Influencer Advertising

My new Canadian Lawyer column discusses practical tips for brands and influencers in the expanding area of endorsements and testimonials, in light of Federal Trade Commission, Competition Bureau and industry regulator guidance. Below is an excerpt with a link to the full column.


Anyone who has spent more than a few minutes on social media recently will know that influencers are the hot — actually the hottest — thing in marketing.

From Twitter to Instagram and Snapchat to vloggers and bloggers and more, celebrities great and small are creating entire businesses around their brands and the seemingly endless consumer appetite to see celebs holding, wearing or using products in one social media message after another.

It used to be that testimonials (what endorsements were called in the print age) were a somewhat lackluster backwater of advertising law. While I did start practising when there were already computers, I can’t recall advising clients about testimonial-related rules more than a handful of times in my first 10 years in practice.

Now, with the explosion of social media and corresponding growth of celebrities (many of whose only occupation appears to be travelling, sharing and being seen — increasingly with a brand), endorsements by influencers seem to be the only channel for advertisers. Banner advertising? You’re kidding, right? We want that YouTube guy holding our thingy.

For the full column see: A legal tiptoe through the hot world of influencer advertising.



I offer business and individual clients efficient and strategic advice in relation to competition/antitrust, advertising, Internet and new media law and contest law.  I also offer competition and regulatory law compliance, education and policy services to companies, trade and professional associations and government agencies.

My experience includes counseling clients on the application of Canadian competition and regulatory laws and I have worked on hundreds of domestic and cross-border competition, advertising and marketing, promotional contest (sweepstakes), conspiracy (cartel), abuse of dominance, compliance, refusal to deal, pricing and distribution, Investment Canada Act and merger matters. For more information about my competition law services see: competition law services.

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