#ad, #spon, #free, #paid, #comp, #sponsored, etc., etc. If you've spent any time on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook in the last couple of years (and we know you have), you've likely started to see hashtags like these being used. We've got a bit of news for you, because we're beginning to ask that you use #sponsored when talking about our events now, too.
Here's how it works...
- Wherever you typically use the House Party or Chatterbox hashtag, you'll now simply include the #sponsored hashtag along with it.
- This applies to any social network you might be using - if you're posting in social media about the event, use the hashtag, whether you're on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or any other social media platforms.
So, what's the reason for these types of hashtags, you might be asking?
Well, it starts with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a government regulatory body whose responsibility it is to protect the American consumer and ensure that fair business practices are being followed. (They're the guys whose job it is to hold organizations that are guilty of false advertising and fraud responsible to the American consumer.) To do this, the FTC has some basic requirements of businesses to verify that they're following forthright marketing practices that make sure the consumer isn't taken advantage of.
How do they ensure that?
The role of "disclosure"
The FTC requires that any bloggers, influencers or even brand advocates like you, the House Party community, need to let other consumers know (need to "disclose") whether there's a connection between them and the brand, product or marketing campaign they're talking about in social media. Requiring them to do this helps make it clear to other consumers that may have otherwise been unaware that there's an underlying reason someone is talking about the brand or product, not simply that it has come up organically in conversation.
This is good for average consumers, since they can therefore take this information into account as they weigh messages from those around them about products and brands and whether or not someone might have received free samples, financial compensation or even - as in our case - a Party Pack or Chat Pack that might have spurred them to talk about the product.
So, this required disclosure is really something that helps everyone out, bloggers, brand advocates, brands and most of all everyday consumers - which is all of us!
House Party's expectations
In our efforts to make sure that we're complying with all expectations from the FTC with our campaigns and to keep the community trust in our House Party and Chatterbox events, we're beginning to request that you include the hashtag #sponsored along with any commentary or conversations related to our events.
It may sound complicated to "disclose", but we promise it's not. All it takes is using this new #sponsored hashtag. Thanks for helping us out by adopting it in social media conversation from here on out! It may just be one additional hashtag, but it goes a long way to helping each and every one of us out.