- Zixiao Li
How Should Influencers Protect Themselves When Working with Brands?
In Alexandra Mondalek’s recent article, she talked about how influencers have long been at a disadvantage when working with brands because of the “Moral Clauses” which enable brands to terminate a contract without a proper payment whenever they feel like the influencers have done something that disparages the brand’s image.
Unable to protect themselves, influencers have long suffered from the dilemma of whether to lose money or to discredit themselves when it's the brand that has done something wrong. As the Black Lives Matter movement and Pay Up movement have drawn much attention, it has become even harder for influencers to stay clear from the misbehavior of the brands.
According to Mondalek, it’s a trend now to have a “Reverse Moral Clause” in a contract that serves as a warranty, granting the influencers the equal rights to end the contract whenever they feel uncomfortable.
Besides the reverse moral clause, there are also some other things that could help influencers minimize potential loss:
Tip No.1 — Always conduct researches before collaborating with a brand.
It’s much cheaper to anticipate than to respond. There will be no excuse when the brand you are working with makes a mistake, even if you are innocent. You are to blame for not being careful enough. When speaking for some other brand, you also need to be responsible for your own brand — yourself.
Tip No.2 — Besides the reverse moral clause, also make sure to include specific clauses that regulate the payment.
Getting the job done doesn’t mean you can get paid. Some influencers also suffer from not getting paid on time or paid enough. Don’t feel inferior when negotiating with brands. It’s important to know how and when you will be paid, and most importantly, how much you will be paid when something unexpected happens. If you don’t have any thoughts in mind, asking for a down payment will never make a mistake.
Tip No.3 — If you feel unable to deal with everything by yourself, it’s always a good choice to hire a talent management agency.
It’s no shame asking for help, let alone paying for it. Hiring a talent management agency seems to be costly, but the money you spend buys you more than just time. It also saves you from all the trouble that you couldn’t have imagined, provides you with solid legal support, and leaves you to do the one thing your really enjoys — being an influencer. And at the very worst situation, if you need to go to court with some brand, it’s better leaving it with the professionals.
Mondalek, A. (2020). How Influencers Are Protecting Themselves Against Misbehaving Brands. Business of Fashion. Retrieved from https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/professional/influencer-brands-blm-morals-clause-contracts