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Pet Influencer Marketing: 4 Legal Elements to Keep in Mind

Is your pet insta-famous?

We often address the legal side of influencer marketing on this blog, as it has become a very popular way of doing marketing online. However, we’re starting to see the rise of a new kind of influencer: the pet influencer.

Believe or not, there are just as many legal aspects to think of when it comes to your pet’s online presence as there are for regular human influencers.

Here are 4 legal elements you should keep in mind when growing your pet’s brand.

Of course, please take this as legal information and not legal advice. If you have any questions regarding pet influencer marketing and its legal considerations, send us an email at info@artylaw.ca.

 

1) Having written agreements is still essential

If your pet is becoming an influencer, you should be treating written agreements and other business considerations just as importantly as you would if you were an influencer.

If a brand contacts you for a partnership with your pet or if an agent wants to represent your pet, you should put some thought into what goes into these contracts and ideally, take the time to get them reviewed.

We’ve previously published a Legal guide for online influencers as well as a blog post about signing your first management agreement that you might want to look into.

 

2) Do not ignore your liability

As with regular influencer marketing, there are certain guidelines that absolutely need to be respected when you are posting posts that include branded content.

Ad standards came out last year with disclosure guidelines for sponsored posts. We also published a blog post summarizing them that you may want to take a look at if you’re not familiar with them just yet.

Do not forget that under Quebec law, you, the pet owner, are 1)  liable for your pet’s actions and that 2) your own liability is engaged everytime you sign an agreement on behalf of your pet (since pets cannot sign contracts).

 

3) Your influencer pet’s well-being above all

If a contract with a brand requires more than you just shooting a few photos of your pet at home (for instance, if your pet needs to be on set for a campaign), do not forget do put your pet’s well-being above all and to make sure that all third-parties who will be participating in such a campaign also understand your pet’s needs.

If you know your pet needs frequent playtime, a lot of rest, etc, you might want to make sure your pet will be able to get these much needed breaks by including relevant clauses in your agreement with the brand, especially if this is the first time they work with a pet influencer for commercial purposes.

 

4) Do not forget about intellectual property

As pets and pet accounts are becoming more and more popular, it’s easy to lose track of your content. Pet images are heavily shared and reshared on social media, You should therefore make sure you monitor the use of your photos, videos and other types of content frequently to be able to stop 1) unauthorized use of your content and 2) to ensure that all of your pet’s content on the web can be traced back to your pet’s accounts.

Keep in mind that intellectual property laws still apply, even if we’re talking about your cute pet’s photos. If your pet influencer happens to be in some content you did not create, always make sure you have written permission to use it.  This of course also applies to any brand who wishes to use content you’ve created on their social media accounts or as part of a bigger campaign.

 

If you have any additional questions you would like to ask us regarding pet influencer marketing, do not hesitate to send us an email at info@artylaw.ca or click on the link below to schedule a consultation.

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