Previous to this announcement, YouTube was the only influencer advertising platform protected by the union. The expansion to TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitch will enable more influencers across these platforms to earn union income, as well as qualifying for health and pension benefits.
President of SAG-AFTRA, Gabrielle Carteris stated that making it easier to cover this type of work has been a top priority for the organisation. In an interview with talent agency, Backstage, she said:
“The Influencer Agreement was created in response to the unique nature of Influencer-generated branded content and offers a new way for influencers to work under a SAG-AFTRA agreement. We want to be able to support both current and future SAG-AFTRA members in this space and for them to be able to access the benefits of union coverage.”
Influencer-generated branded content is now recognised as a legitimate form of advertising by SAG-AFTRA, alongside their existing membership which includes media professionals from fields such as broadcast journalism, news writing, and acting.
Influencers who have signed a contract for branded content are now able to access the SAG-AFTRA influencer agreement, allowing them to work with marketing and advertising companies professionally, ensuring that the paid job is fair for both the advertiser and the influencer. An announcement such as this is another step towards accepting the work of influencers as its own business entity.