In today’s era of sports, for the Gamers, they have an opportunity to influence their fans through social media. Gamers have the ‘influencer’ title which will help them to cash in with the potential sponsors. For this the Gamer influencer needs to create an interesting and popular content on any of the social media plat form and begin to amass following. With the influencer’s posts, the followers begin to share their favorites with others, and build a following through clicks and the likes.
Even though it sounds exciting and making money, there many regulations in the US and other countries to consider. In the past few years, the agencies of Federal, State and Unions are getting into this.
An influencer must follow the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines, at the Federal level. These guidelines will apply to any person or pet who influences and receives ‘anything of value’, including free or discounted products. It is observed that, many gamer influencers start receiving gaming specific items, like Gaming Equipment’s, Special Chairs, Apparels, Screens, Keyboards, Mouse, Drinks, etc.,
As FTC is engaged in protecting the consumer, their rules have focused around protecting consumers from deceptive advertising. In such cases, if an influencer misinforms a prospective consumer or is silent on the source of their gifts, this may be deemed as ‘deceptive’ practices and fines/ penalties may apply.
At the state level, California is keeping close watch on the gamer influencers. Many of gamer teams are headquartered in California. In 2020, California Law (AB5) was enacted, creating a new standard for which employers would categorize workers. Under this, “gig-economy” workers, gamer influencers in the state will have to determine if they fall under the definition of a “gig-worker” when signing their influencer sponsorship agreements as independent contractors. Similar measures are followed in other states such as New York.
Such preventive measures have gone beyond the U.S. borders. This has gone beyond the U.S. borders. The United Kingdom is looking at altering the definition of “gig-workers” which can directly impact all social media influencers. UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has came out with comparable guidelines to that of FTC’s. Apart from CMA, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and their Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) have also published their standards and requirements for influencer advertising on social media. In March of 2021, ASA came out with a report, highlighting that the ‘proportion of influencers sticking to the rules is far below’ what they expected.