Healthcare Influencer Marketing Position Statement

Blue and teal stethoscope design with AHSM in lower case and directly below reading association for healthcare social media in simple type font

Influencer Marketing by Healthcare
Professionals and Students

Position Statement

As an organization the Association for Healthcare Social Media (AHSM) stands to neither prohibit, nor promote, involvement in influencer marketing by healthcare professionals and students on social media platforms.

In doing so, we aim to recognize and support the value of creativity and entrepreneurship by those professionally involved in healthcare fields. This support is limited to those individuals clearly practicing transparency, continually displaying high ethical standards, and consistently focusing on evidence-based information as the foundation of positive social media use.

As an organization, AHSM encourages the following:

  • Full compliance with established Federal Trade Commission Act rules and regulations. [1]
  • Clear designation of paid advertising in accordance with FTC requirements, which are well-outlined in this Platform-Specific Marketing Infographic. [2]
  • Appropriate disclosure of gifted items and experiences when discussing, tagging, promoting, or hash-tagging specific brands/companies/products. [3] 
  • Disclosure of affiliate link sharing.

In times of uncertainty, AHSM encourages adopting a policy of transparency, clarity, FTC Act compliance, and healthcare provider alignment with Sunshine Act policy as it pertains to industry-related sponsors & ads.

Approval: AHSM Board of Directors May 2019
Danielle Jones, MD, Austin Chiang, MD, Rupa Wong, MD, Jamie Rutland, MD, Alok Patel, MD

Sources & Additional Resources:
[1] Federal Trade Commission: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising
[2] Platform Specific Infographic Explaining FTC Guidelines for Influencers – Compiled by MediaKix in 2018* 
         *AHSM is not affiliated with MediaKix and does not additionally endorse their content or business aside from the linked piece.
Federal Trade Commission: Press Release for Influencers and Brands to Clearly Disclose Relationship 
          Federal Trade Commission: Endorsement Guides Frequently Asked Questions
[3] Examples of social media posts appropriately disclosing gifted items  Example1 Example 
[4] FTC Disclosures 101 for Social Media Influencers