“Kidfluencers” are the new supermodels. Brands, from Crayola to Carnival Cruises, are courting young social media stars. In some cases, families command up to $45,000 a spot. But what some folks may not know is that laws and regulations apply.
We’ve put together this overview of social media legal considerations. If your family is jumping into the influencer industry, get in touch for legal advice. Though based in Illinois, we work with individuals, families, and managers across North America, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
Kidfluencer Legal Considerations: COPPA
Legislators passed the Children’s Online Privacy Protection in 2003. It outlines the dos-and-don’ts of handling and collecting kids identifying data.
To be clear: Kidfluencers likely won’t run into COPPA issues unless they have branded websites that use tracking cookies or sell merch. That said, COPPA’s scope has grown exponentially over the years. So if you run any type of business with an online or digital presence, be sure to brush up on these regulations. COPPA fines can run into the millions, and watchdog groups are always on the prowl for violators.
Kidfluencer Legal Considerations: FTC Rules
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the nation’s “consumer watchdog” responsible for administering false advertising and online privacy standards. For example, did you know that it’s against FTC rules not to include a #paid, #spon, or #ad hashtag to social media posts for which you’ve been compensated? There are dozens of similar promotional disclosure rules. Do you know them all? We’ll perform an FTC audit of your operation to make sure everything is on the up-and-up.
Tip: Always make sure that all kidfluencer accounts are set up and managed by a parent or guardian. Platform rules disallow children under a certain age from registering. Failure to comply could lead to a permanent ban.
Kidfluencer Legal Considerations: Contract Negotiations
Contracts are a big part of the kidfluencer and influencer business. To ensure your best interests are represented, enlist your own attorney. Remember, these big companies support entire in-house legal departments; they employee leagues of lawyers to protect the company from liabilities and increase shareholder profits. They may be wonderful to work with, but it’s always wise to make sure you have a legal mind also looking out for your best interests — especially when it comes to contract negotiations.
Kidfluencer Legal Considerations: Trusts and Taxes
If your child is earning over a certain amount, you may be required to comply with specific child labor laws, like California’s Coogan’s Law that requires parents to put earnings into a trust. New York, Louisiana, and New Mexico have similar statutes.
Taxes are another consideration. How are you reporting them? Have you established a business entity? If so, is that company best positioned for maximum profit and tax savings? Are you taking advantage of available, government-approved tax haven opportunities? If not, get in touch. We’ll review your options.
Kidfluencer Legal Considerations: Intellectual Property
Influencers and kidfluencers are brands unto themselves, and in this media-dominant market, it’s imperative to protect your intellectual property. Failure to do so can lead to significant losses. Properly registering copyrights and trademarks is a matter of paperwork and legal due diligence. Our team will walk you through the process to make sure you retain legal rights to, and profit from, original work products.
Connect with A Social Media Advertising and Marketing Attorney
The Gordon Law Group regularly works with social media influencers and kidfluencers on everything from FTC compliance to contract negotiations to profitable tax positioning.