Should marketers begin to change the way they develop influencer contracts?
Back in January, our president, Jim Tobin, attended an event in Las Vegas where YouTube influencer Jake Paul was scheduled to speak. As many marketers may recall, the event was just days after his brother, Logan Paul, got in trouble for filming a suicide in a Japanese forest. While Jake's appearance had nothing to do with the situation his brother was currently in, it was during this event that he made a comment that distinctly stood out to the audience. Jake brought up the idea that brands should look at multi-year deals with influencers as ambassadors. He continued to support this idea stating that Nike has LeBron in a multi-year deal, so brands should hire influencers for multi-year deals.
The problem with this logic is that LeBron James' day job is playing basketball. A brand partnering with him has a very low risk. The Paul brothers, on the other hand, create outrageous videos for a living. Any brand that chooses to partner with them, the risk is naturally heightened.
Separately, Procter & Gamble's legal counsel recently shared some of what they look for when evaluating their influencer contracts and specifically called out a clause that they add called "Continuity of Persona", requiring influencers to maintain a certain look or to stay away from certain social issues that may be damaging to the brand.
If you bring these two concepts together for consideration, it really comes down to one crucial action that brands should be taking before they even partner with an influencer. Properly vetting an influencer beforehand, as we do at Carusele, is going to give you insight into what type of person the influencer is, where they stand on certain social issues, what type of risk they can be to a brand, and more. This continuity of persona clause that P&G is implementing should only be considered in certain circumstances, such as an ambassador program where you're contracting the influencer to work with you for a longer period of time. If it's just a one-off program, there's really no point to including such terms in your influencer contracts.
But again, if you've properly vetted your influencers beforehand, you'll know enough about them to understand how likely they are to put a brand at risk with their content.
Alternatively, if you want nothing to do with influencer contracts and are looking for an agency to get all the messy stuff done for you, give us a call!