June 11, 2024
Mutual sign off in creator contracts is a super power for brands
Tim Mitchell
Co-founder, DRPCRD

There’s a clause commonly used in Creator Marketing known as Mutual Sign Off.

It appears on most creator contracts on our platform, and it’s a vital, but undervalued concept.

In literal terms it just means that both brand and creator will mutually agree on the final edit of the content that’s made. But in spirit, it’s supposed to deepen the connection between the brand and the creator.

When creators are asked to post branded content, they’re giving that content back to their own audience - probably the reason the brand wanted to work with that creator in the first place. That makes the creator a vital stakeholder in the content; what it says, how it looks and feels. It makes sense that the creator becomes a custodian in delivering an authentic message to people - not something corporate, contrived or even worse, boring.

It’s not a negative for brands to have this in the contract, but I imagine most brands would do away with the clause if they could. When mutual sign off is not in a contract, it makes a creator more of an actor, a content producer, and not a creative partner. That feels like a missed opportunity for brands. Mutual sign off could be a super power for brands. It could position creators as true partners in brand collaborations, experts in how to navigate trends, language (in the lingo-sense), youth culture. They hold the keys to keeping brands relevant to a young audience who are sceptical that brands have much to offer them by being on social platforms. That feels like the whole point of using creators in the first place.

When you break it down, a small clause at the end of a contract called Mutual Sign Off (yes/no) hardly does it justice.