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Protection is Important. Even in Influencer Marketing.

The events of the last few days have prompted us to summarise perhaps the least sexy topic in the influencer campaign process. But we feel it's simply no longer necessary. We're sharing our super secret know-how of agency-influencer framework agreements. Contracts are meant to help and protect.

We sign a framework contract with influencers and then we sign orders/subcontracts for individual campaigns. Just for the record, our framework agreement is 11 pages long in large enough font with the most important points highlighted. Not because we want to bore influencers to death or lure them in for a bargain loan, but because after seven years of experience, we simply know what to look out for. We're protecting the client, us, and the influencers themselves. Somehow it doesn't cross our minds that there are still collaborations where no contract is signed and when there's a problem and it comes to breaking bread, it's like a divorce. Some of you may be familiar with this...

What's the 11-page contract about? It starts with the introductory clauses and the subject matter of the contract. It needs to be clear who, where, for whom. That's probably clear to everyone. It's followed by Provision of services because, strange as it may seem to you, influencers are creating a form of content - they're providing a service to you and they should be providing it in a legally correct way. That is why you will find paragraph 3.5 in this chapter.

3.5. The Influencer is required to clearly, unambiguously, and understandably indicate in each Post that there is a collaboration with the Client - the label must comply with the platform's conditions and must be placed first so that every recipient of the Post can recognize that it is a paid collaboration. The recipient of the post must not be misled into believing that the Influencer's Post is an expression of their own stance or opinion. The paid partnership label will be included in every Post created by the Influencer based on this contract.

And here we'll take a little break and mention what has been mentioned several times already. It's not cool to not label advertising! We have it in our contracts, we also have detailed guidance for influencers on where to turn paid partnerships on across platforms. If there's a technical issue, we contact the platform or mention the partnership in the copy either in text or #. It's just not cool to not tag an ad and hope for higher reach like the unnamed ad on River in Prague last week. 9 out of 10 kids won't recognize an influencer ad, so why deceive them? If the influencer gets paid for it or there is some kind of consideration, even in the case of a barter collaboration - there is some kind of reward, the collaboration must be labelled. Amen!

The next chapter is endorsement and disclosure. Collaborations with influencers can be part of an integrated campaign or can overlap offline and therefore timing simply matters. Therefore, our contracts include a timeline and brief for content creation (more on that next time). This section, for example, determines how far in advance the influencer sends us content for approval. And also, we don't want to take away from the authenticity of influencers, but sometimes even if an influencer does everything right, they might mispronounce the brand name and it is very important for us to check the content before they post it, helps us avoid such failures.

5.1. The Influencer must not post the Contribution on the Account or otherwise publish it without the explicit approval of the Contribution by the Client.

We don't want to take away from the authenticity of influencers, but sometimes even if an influencer does everything right, they might mispronounce the brand name, and this helps us prevent such fails.

Even when collaboration seems self-ideal, it's important to protect yourself. There's nothing worse than a client linking to a specific post, for example, on their website and a week after the collaboration, it shows up: 'Page not found'. This is where clause 5.5 of our contract protects us.

5.5. The Influencer is not authorized to change published or approved Posts in any way without the prior written consent of the Client. The Influencer is authorized to delete or change published Posts only at the explicit instruction of the Client. This obligation of the Influencer lasts for the duration of the advertising campaign and an additional 2 months after its conclusion. The duration of the advertising campaign will be specified in the Specific Agreements.

The chapter of declarations and obligations of the parties is a must have. Have you registered the Renault and Attila Végh case? Is it cool for a client/brand to withdraw from a collaboration based on the behaviour of the influencer in question during a long-term collaboration? Do we really need to ask this question? Of course it's okay. We get a lot of briefs from clients coming into WOO where the influencer specification states ,the influencer must not engage politically. Most big brands don't get politically involved and that's what could happen to them through politically engaged influencers. People will tag them. That's where influencer marketing is so tricky and it's one of its main pitfalls. In a collaboration, the brand/client is making it clear that they are aligned with the influencer, they want to be signed up to the influencer's work. That's why we've had clause 6.2.8 in our contracts for 6 years now.

6.2.8. During the term of this Agreement, not to publish any negative reviews resulting from the cooperation between the Influencer and the Client, and not to damage the reputation and good name of the Clients or individual participants of the advertising campaign. In case of a negative experience with the cooperation, the Influencer is obliged to immediately contact the Client and communicate the reasons for their dissatisfaction;

That's also why it's important to have a reliable influencer marketing partner in the countries. We work in seven markets in Europe ourselves and do you think our Czech influencer specialists from Prague office can handle everything? Of course not. Some places we have an influencer specialist who lives in the country, some places we work with a partner agency. This is exactly why it is needed. Anyone can find influencers in a foreign country and write to them, but to watch this social listening without knowing the language that, for example, a Hungarian influencer carries with him? We can't really do that.

We probably don't need to specify the remuneration and the duration of the contract. Licenses are an important part. We don't want the client to be able to reshare posts on their own networks, for example. What would the collaboration be about then.

Competitive arrangements are used to ensure that the influencer doesn't post a Coca-Cola post in his kitchen (for authenticity) while a pack of Pepsi lies very inconspicuously behind him. We've also had a big influencer publish a post on pudding while Bozkov rum was behind her. Not everything gets noticed and Bozkov rum got some cool free advertising. This was followed by a co-branding video for a cake with pudding and a drop of rum. No it didn't, but it would have been cool.

We'll end with a sanctioning clause that we never used. Why not? Because we have well-built contracts! So let us know and our contract will protect you in this punk world full of unmarked collaborations without contracts. We're here for you!