As I continue to work on my union education, I seem to find more and more events that I really want to attend. Some of them are events that they have from time to time at the union that I’ve never attended before and some are new events that I’m so excited to be a part of. And this week, I was invited to attend an event that was brand new and perfectly suited for me!
SAG-AFTRA and Tubefilter came together to co-host an evening to discuss influencer marketing and the FTC guidelines we need to follow. While I don’t do a ton of sponsored posts on here or on social media, I do have them from time to time (I try to limit them to only things that I really believe in). And I know that there are some rules I need to follow in order to follow what the FTC requires and I wanted to make sure that I was doing everything properly. And since many sponsored posts can be under union jurisdiction, I loved that the union was involved in this conversation to answer questions.
I’ve learned a bit about some of the rules I need to be aware of because of other union events I’ve attended. Until recently, I had no idea that things I did on my blog could be under my union’s jurisdiction. I think this is something that most actor/bloggers aren’t aware of yet and I know that SAG-AFTRA is starting to get the word out now that guidelines are starting to be a bit more clear.
At this event, there was a panel that had a lot of amazing panelists. They included a YouTube creator, an employee of the FTC, and a union representative. While there was a lot of back and forth because some rules are still a bit unclear, I think the tone of the entire event was that we all want to work together to figure out how to create policies that protect us as creators and still follow FTC guidelines.
The meeting really reminded me of the Union Working events with how people may be coming from different sides of an issue but we understand that by working together and being strong as a group it will benefit us the most. And while not everyone has the answers to everything, people are bringing up questions that are helping those higher up to understand the issues we are facing and the concerns that we want answered. Sometimes, the answers to questions was to say that they didn’t know, but I highly respect people who aren’t afraid to say that they don’t know (instead of making up an answer).
The panel was about 2 hours long (and they probably could have gone for another 2 hours and I still would have been fascinated) and then there was a bit of a social mixer after. I was sitting at a table with some of my friends so I had a chance to be social before the panel. And after the panel, we came together to discuss what we had learned and what issues we are concerned about. We had a chance to speak with the National Executive Director of SAG-AFTRA and I got to express some of my personal concerns or confusion over the rules. Influencer marketing is still a pretty new system so I think there is a lot of confusion by a lot of people. And since I don’t do it that often I think I had extra questions. But I did leave the meeting feeling much better about the situation and knowing who to contact if I needed to get something specific answered.
I don’t know how big the overlap is with actors and bloggers (or other types of influencer marketers), but I’m very excited to be someone who fits into both categories. I’ve already talked to the union about how they can reach the blogger community to help those who are not in the entertainment industry understand what is happening and what the union is doing for them. I think it’s going to be a very exciting time to see those two worlds come together and I love that I get to help connect them and bring them together.