The Plexus Way®: Material Connection and Disclosure

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September 6, 2018

Social media platforms have certainly changed the way we interact with others; sharing products online with our networks has never been easier. And with the growing number of influencers and advertisers, regulators are getting involved. This week, we discuss some best practices for advertising your Plexus® business on social media.

What is Material Connection?

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), material connection is “a connection that might affect the weight or credibility of your endorsements.”

Material connection could mean a paid endorsement, a reviewer receiving an item for free to review, or even a Plexus Ambassador having the opportunity to earn some extra money from advertising and selling products that they love.¤

It’s not all about money; material connection could even mean an influencer advertising a friend’s product or someone endorsing a family member’s new business start-up.

Why does it need to be disclosed?

A consumer’s knowledge of material connections could change the way they feel about an advertisement or endorsement. For example, if a consumer saw a celebrity talking about a product on their Instagram account, they might think differently about the product if they knew that the celebrity was being paid to talk positively about the product. So, by concealing a material connection, an advertisement can be misleading to consumers.

Last year, the FTC sent warning letters to over 90 influencers and marketers on social media who they believed were not disclosing their material connections, showing that regulators are taking notice, and action.

What do I need to do?

While the FTC states that disclosure of material connection should be clearly and conspicuously disclosed, there is not a specific disclosure or wording that you need to use when promoting Plexus on social media as a Plexus Ambassador. So, there are several ways you can easily add this disclosure.

  • Include “Independent Plexus Ambassador” in your Plexus business page name on Facebook. It clearly discloses the purpose of your page as well as your connection to the business and products.
  • Introduce yourself as a Plexus Ambassador before talking about your product experience. This can be something as simple as starting your post with, “As an Independent Plexus Ambassador…”
  • Use clear hashtags like #PlexusAmbassador, #PlexusOpportunity, #advertisement, or even #ad if you have limited space.

Have questions about material connection and disclosures? Check out everything the FTC has to say about it, or email us at compliance@plexusworldwide.com.

¤Plexus makes no guarantees on income, as such representations may be misleading. Your success depends on your efforts, commitment, skill and leadership abilities, and how effectively you exercise those qualities. Please see the Plexus Annual Income Statement.

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