Influencer contracts are evolving to cover big risks like COVID-19 and governments banning TikTok


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Like everyone else, influencers are feeling the impact of the coronavirus on business.

Contractual agreements underpin the huge numbers of influencer endorsements and brand deals brokered between companies and digital creators.

But the imposition of travel bans, and the reduction in brand budgets and commensurate declines in ad revenue, has torn up the old rules of influencer marketing.

“There is no doubt that the coronavirus outbreak has changed the brand-creator relationship in influencer marketing, especially when it comes to campaign contracts,” said Ben Jeffries, CEO and co-founder of Influencer, a London-based influencer marketing firm.

“The coronavirus outbreak encouraged brands to be more flexible with creator content and understanding of the fact that creators should be given a certain level of freedom when it comes to interpreting a brief and creating content.”

Likewise, the legal agreements behind that content have changed too.

“The coronavirus has definitely added a level of scrutiny over what influencers can and can’t deliver,” said Josh Jaskiewicz, partner at Sheridans, a law firm that works with brands and influencers. “Some [changes to agreements] are subtle and some not so subtle.”

No more marketing campaigns based on big events

One of the main changes has been in event-based campaigns: creators are no longer flown out to big events and expected to create content around that event.

“That requires influencers to go from point A to point B. Those things have completely gone overnight,” said Jaskiewicz. “The liability of the brand to host such an event and risk an outbreak of [the coronavirus] as a result, not just from a cost perspective but reputation as well, for the brand it’s just reckless for them to do that. That’s completely gone — at least for now.”

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But that doesn’t mean that influencers have seen work disappear forever.

Instead, agreements are being made that involve creators promoting products from their own homes or remotely.

“Influencers have still been getting work, at least to my knowledge, and that’s because a lot of stuff can still be created in the comfort of the influencer’s home or a socially distant environment,” said Jaskiewicz.

“The coronavirus outbreak saw a lot of brands no longer able to produce content in the same ways they were previously and instead, relying on creators with great success,” said Jeffries. “We’ve since seen many brands continue to offer creators this level of creative interpretation, which has led to some incredible campaigns.”

But the risk of falling ill, and of rolling local lockdowns limiting the ability to create content, has factored into some contracts being signed by influencers and brands Jaskiewicz works with. And because of that, force majeure clauses are being strengthened and triggered.

Force majeure refers to major unforeseeable events that stop someone from fulfilling the terms of a contract.

“Force majeure is only intended to be relied on in exceptional circumstances,” said Jaskiewicz. “You might say [the coronavirus] is an exceptional circumstance, but if you’re negotiating to post something from your bedroom, you can’t use force majeure to get out of it in that sense.

“The way contracts have been drafted is more …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Tech


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