USF St. Petersburg campus Master's Theses (Graduate)

First Advisor

Major Professor: Monica Ancu, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Casey Frechette, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Janet Keeler


University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Document Type


Publication Date


Date Issued

June 26, 2020


The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires social media influencers to disclose any financial or material relationship they have with a brand. This study represents a content analysis of 150 sponsored posts to examine how Instagram influencers disclose this relationship. Findings show that 37% of Instagram influencers use the word “ad” to disclose commercial relations on posts. Further, results indicate that disclosure hashtags are the most popular type and location used by Instagram influencers to disclose a relationship with a brand.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Digital Journalism and Design Department of Journalism and Digital Communication College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.