Q: What about employees of an ad agency or public relations firm? Can my agency ask our employees to spread the buzz about our clients’ products?
A: First, an ad agency (or any company for that matter) shouldn’t ask employees to say anything that isn’t true. No one should endorse a product they haven’t used or say things they don’t believe about a product, and an employer certainly shouldn’t encourage employees to engage in such conduct.
Moreover, employees of an ad agency or public relations firm have a connection to the advertiser, which should be disclosed in all social media posts. Agencies asking their employees to spread the word must instruct those employees about their responsibilities to disclose their relationship to the product they are endorsing, e.g., “My employer is paid to promote [name of product],” or simply “Advertisement,” or when space is an issue, “Ad” or “#ad.”