United Arab Emirates: Gowlessence: The Insider View Into The Legal Side Of The Influencer Marketing Industry, Part One

Last Updated: 6 March 2019
Article by Isabella Hislop

Influencer marketing is a powerful weapon for brands. Influencers engage with target audiences through authentic storytelling, improve brand sentiment, and so drive a successful return on investment. However, with regulatory authorities increasingly scrutinising campaigns, mitigating against potential legal, commercial and reputational damage should be considered when embarking on working with influencers on digital marketing campaigns. Gowling WLG's five-part series of Influencer 101 articles will equip you with the tools that your brand needs to ensure it's in the strongest position when approaching influencer partnerships.

Meet Gowlessence, our fictional case study for this series and the latest beauty brand to pop up on your social media feed. Gowlessence produces cleansers, creams and serums that its customers swear make them look good on the outside, while also making them feel good on the inside. Gowlessence's demographic is millennials that justify their indulgence on "self-care" by investing in Gowlessence's promise of organic, cruelty-free products and lifestyle.

In order to capitalise on the beauty industry's penchant for digital marketing, Gowlessence want to launch an influencer marketing campaign. Gowlessence has allocated a generous budget for this, in the hope that collaborating with influencers that already have loyal audiences will bring more eyeballs - and subsequently, sales - to the brand.

Legal and commercial considerations when working with influencers

Gowlessence appreciates that the reign of social media has reshaped commerce; rocketing trust into the integral element in consumers' purchasing decisions. This has opened up the market for influencers to ascend as the bridge between buyers and brands, forging trust between the parties. Influencers are so-named because of their extensive social media followings. Influencers have a self-selecting and trusting audience, whose demographic and impact can be easily ascertained and measured. By utilising influencers as part of an overall marketing strategy, Gowlessence plans to tailor messages to its target audience with the hopeful assurance that such messages are delivered effectively.

As brands increasingly work with influencers, contracts between the parties have become commonplace. It may be daunting for brands to place their reputation in the hands of an influencer that they may have only had an email exchange with. Therefore brand protection and reputation management needs to be at the forefront of any legal and commercial negotiations. This article examines the key reputational risks that Gowlessence wants to mitigate against as it intends to work with influencers on both marketing campaigns and one-off advertorial posts.

Due diligence

Gowlessence's marketing team makes a shortlist of five influencers that have the "Gowlessence look", and so would be an appropriate fit to promote its products. However, prior to public association with any of the five, Gowlessence conducts extensive due diligence. This goes further than a cursory Google search - Gowlessence does a "deep dive": checking Reddit threads and the Wayback Machine to look for any potentially scandalous posts or gossip that could derail its campaign and cause negative publicity.

Gowlessence is particularly prudent about due diligence as its competitor, LawWow, recently had a PR disaster when it collaborated with an influencer to launch its new lipstick shade. On the day the campaign launched, it was discovered that a short scroll down the influencer's Twitter revealed an expletive-filled rant about how LawWow's lipstick wouldn't come off - turning an adventurous dark lip attempt into a week-long Halloween costume. This quickly becomes a bigger story than the lipstick launch itself, diluting the time and money invested by LawWow into the campaign.

Once Gowlessence has finished scouring the internet, it removes two influencers from the list who are found to have made some questionable comments in the past, which could reflect badly on Gowlessence if these come to light. This leaves three influencers who Gowlessence decide to go forward with, and Gowlessence's legal team begin to draft the contracts.


While Gowlessence conducted extensive due diligence on the influencers, Gowlessence still need an "out" if a relationship with any of the influencers goes awry. Just as a vegan activist brand needs a plan if the influencer it's working with decides to become a raging carnivore, mitigating potential long-term damage is a significant concern for Gowlessence. Gowlessence doesn't want to be featured in a Daily Mail headline ridiculing a PR blunder which could have been avoided.

When the influencer contracts are drafted, Gowlessence includes a simple ability for it to terminate a relationship with the influencers if they go on a rampage that isn't consistent with Gowlessence's values. The contracts also include a clause preventing the influencers from substantively changing their lifestyle during the contract term. This is to avoid any unforeseen threats to Gowlessence's campaign - for example, if one of the influencers suddenly becomes vocal about the fallacy of expensive skincare. Gowlessence considers its long-term plans too - if a rebranding takes place and past campaigns with influencers no longer fit with the brand, Gowlessence needs the ability to have the influencers delete any content referencing a relationship with Gowlessence.

LawWow portrays itself as a younger, family-friendly brand. Previously, it collaborated with a vociferously "clean-living" child star, who promoted its pimple-cream. Eighteen months later, that influencer was a CBD advocate with a profane face tattoo. If this had been Gowlessence, its contract would provide for the ability to insist on a public disassociation with the influencer by having that influencer delete all relevant advertorial posts from its social media pages.

Post-termination restrictions

Gowlessence's contracts ensure the influencers are restricted from discussing anything about Gowlessence that it would rather is not made public knowledge. This is particularly important if any of the relationships sour and terminate. Gowlessence wants to avoid a disgruntled influencer exposing how Sue in Accounts doesn't realise what the aubergine emoji means. Gowlessence acknowledges that it must always retain control of its message - making such contractual protections imperative.

Following regulations

Finally, a crucial aspect for Gowlessence's contracts to cover is the importance of following relevant regulations and guidelines. While these may differ across various jurisdictions, advertising rules tend to be substantively similar in their overall objective: protecting consumers. Gowlessence comprehends both the legal and reputational significance of adhering to the relevant regulations and guidelines. Sanctions aside, Gowlessence wants to be known as honest and transparent - fostering trust among its customers. By being aware of protecting against foreseeable risks in partnering with influencers, Gowlessence is cognisant of the relevant regulations and guidelines to be followed. These regulations will be covered in detail in an upcoming article in this series, where Gowlessence's patience for the influencers' caption choice will be tested.

In part two Gowlessence explores exclusivity in its influencer marketing agreements.

Gowlessence: The Insider View Into The Legal Side Of The Influencer Marketing Industry, Part One

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Events from this Firm
7 Nov 2019, Seminar, Birmingham, UK

Providing content specifically tailored to the needs of GCs and Heads of Legal working in government organisations and their affiliates.

14 Nov 2019, Seminar, London, UK

Providing content specifically tailored to the needs of GCs and Heads of Legal working in government organisations and their affiliates.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions