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Should Influencer Agreements Require Force Majeure?

At Social House, we strongly believe in the engagement of influencers as part of the “trifecta” of a successful social strategy, and the key to success with influencers is in the relationship and communication that exists with the brand. As consumers seek authentic connection to brands through influencers they follow, brands need to know their image and likeness are being protected. For most, an influencer agreement is the standard for streamlining partnerships, but what happens if something goes wrong? Are you protected? Venable LLP advises that without a force majeure clause in your agreement, the answer is “NO”.

A force majeur clause outlines what happens when unforeseeable circumstances “beyond your control” prevent either party from fulfilling terms of their agreement and without this type of clause, the unforeseen circumstances can lead to relationships in turmoil following a disagreement on services that cannot or were not rendered. Amma Marfo, a contributor at Social Media Week, suggests the following to be aware of as safeguards for protection:

Platform Outage: Just this past month, Facebook suffered a prolonged (and the worst ever) outage impacting Instagram and WhatsApp. Like you and me, influencers were dark and unable to do their work.

Regional or National Crisis: Know your plan and be respectful in times of major local or world events or natural disasters.

Operative Term “Beyond Their Control”: Or as we like to say Crisis Management. A crisis can happen at any time and whether the brand or the influencer finds themselves in “crisis” it’s important to acknowledge in writing the plan of action and when to halt posting.

Learn more about what Social Week Media has to say about influencer marketing here.

-Allison Beck
VP of Client Services and Partnerships