Unilever Is Cracking Down On Influencer Fraud
Influencer marketing is big business.
So big, in fact, that the industry is worth $1 billion dollars - and is expected to double by 2019.
Influencers know there’s money to be made from paid collaborations. They’re charging brands top dollar for branded content, sponsored posts and shout outs on their social media channels.
The bigger the influencer (with larger the following, and higher the rate of engagement) the higher the price.
As a result many influencers have resorted to employing dishonest tactics, in order to appear more influential than they really are. It’s a huge problem, yet many industry insiders are uncertain how to handle it.
But Unilever is now stepping up to the plate. The consumer goods giant has officially announced it's cracking down on influencer fraud – and is encouraging other companies to do the same.
“The key to improving the situation is three-fold: cleaning up the influencer ecosystem by removing misleading engagement; making brands and influencers more aware of the use of dishonest practices; and improving transparency from social platforms to help brands measure impact,” Unilever’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Keith Weed said. “We need to take urgent action now to rebuild trust before it’s gone forever.”
The company has vowed to not work with influencers who buy followers, and has promised consumers its own brands won’t buy followers for their social accounts.
It has also promised to prioritise partners who increase their transparency and will continue to dishonest practices throughout the digital ecosystem.
According to The Drum “. . . . it's not known exactly how much of Unilever's $7bn global spend is funnelled into influencer marketing, but in recent years YouTubers, vloggers and other social media stars have powered drives for brands like Dove Men, Dollar Shave Club, Stork, Magnum and skincare range Simple.”
Weed isn't the first person to acknowledge the issue of influencer fraud, within the influencer industry. Last year, YouTube megastar Chloe Morello uploaded a video to her channel, where she shed light on issue.
Influencer fraud is a huge issue, so it's refreshing to see commitment within the industry to stop it. We hope more companies will follow in Unilever's footsteps.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.