Influencer marketing generates millions, and some of the people involved don’t respect the rules of the game or take things too far. Let’s take a look at the challenges faced by the sector and attempts to regulate it, successful or not.
Beauty influencers’ tariffs in the middle of a crisis
Beauty, that is, essentially make-up, was the first area involved in influencer marketing. It covers both specialized blogs and social networks, especially Instagram, but not forgetting YouTube. It must be said that the demand for advice in this area is gigantic. Influencers had been surfing this lucrative wave, while making advertisers happy by achieving stratospheric ROI. Until it went too far.
The sector is indeed experiencing a crisis in the US, after the revelations of influencers like Marlena Stell (Vox article) , making us discover the other side of the story :
- Rates have reached excessive or even crazy levels, of the order of $ 20,000 for an Instagram publication or $ 60,000 for a video,
- Brands are increasingly asking influencers to criticize competition (in exchange for remuneration of course),
- Many partnerships were made without being clearly displayed in the publications (#sponsored), in all illegality.
Social networks are trying to put controls on influencers
In reality this trend came, paradoxically, from an attempt by YouTube to regulate creators’ income since 2017. This measure, nicknamed, “Adpocalypse” significantly impacted the revenues of YouTubers, the latter becoming even more dependent on brands.By wanting to regulate YouTubers' revenues, Google increased their dependency on paid partnerships with brands. #adpocalypse Click To Tweet
There is however a wide gap between trying to offset a few hundred dollars (or euros) of losses, and charging $ 20,000 for a single photo, we’re sure you’ll agree
Those influencers who hide their collaborations with brands
Excessive remuneration raises a question of ethics that everyone is free to appreciate. On the other hand, concealment practices are reprehensible from every point of view, including legal ones.
The CMA launches investigation to weed out the cheaters
The practice goes beyond the sphere of beauty influencing. For example, in the United Kingdom in 2016, the Competition Authority (CMA) sent warnings to influencers suspected of not clearly communicating the paid nature of some of their recommendations. In 2018, seeing that practices remained opaque, the CMA put its foot down, revealing this time the influencers involved (source). Among them, the blogger Sheikhbeauty was singled out.
The Philip Morris brand used hidden partnerships
Nothing wrong with hidden partnerships you say? What about the allegations against Philip Morris, accused of using influencers to promote its Marlboro and Lucky Strike brands to a young and connected target, without these partnerships being labeled as such.
The brand even trained the influencers to place their products (cigarette packs) naturally in their Instagram posts. Even worse, it asked that the health warning (appearing on the packet) not be visible.
The group is accused of having conducted these campaigns in at least three markets: Brazil, Uruguay and Italy. But it’s hard to believe that it hasn’t happened elsewhere. For the sake of impartiality, let us specify here that Philip Morris has denied these accusations.
Twitter bots more influential than influencers
In 2016, big stars seemed to be mostly in favor of Hillary Clinton, during the race to the White House. Despite the support of mega-influencers, it is nevertheless Trump who won the race for influence on the web. How? Thanks to bots!
According to researchers at the Australian National University, fake accounts were 4.5 times more influential than humans, especially during the televised debate between candidates. Their publications, automated, and mostly for the Republican camp, received a lot more commitments than those of personalities like Oprah Winfrey.
There is no evidence to date that these bots have been used by brands, but there is little doubt, as their effectiveness has been demonstrated. A perspective that sends shiver down the spine
Rest assured, if influencer marketing can be likened to the far-west, it’s possible to find a , win-win, humane, legal context, and at advantageous rates. To do this, explore the possibilities offered by our networking platform. Already 3,000 advertisers trust us … In all transparency!