Unilever Says it Will Stop Advertising With "Influencers" Who've Bought Followers

By Gary Cutlack on at

Brand-selling behemoth Unilever, which makes what you're eating and what you smell of, has had it with influencers and their fake followers. It has decided that pretend popular people who've acquired a few thousand friends overnight are not a good place for its advertising money to go.

So it's going to stop, or try to stop, organising the marketing industry into action and trying to get Instagram around the table to talk about the odd "rotten apple" that spoils the... larger bag of apples.

This anti-influencer campaign is being pushed by Unilever's chief marketing boss Keith Weed, who thinks there's a need to "rebuild trust" in the online ad model and weed out frauds perpetrated by those capable of harnessing armies of bots, buying in followers and faking Kardashian levels of internet popularity.

Weed said of his table-upending plan: "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."

Companies and individuals with higher levels of transparency should therefore expect to start seeing the Dove and Lynx and margarine and ice cream and washing powder money coming their way. [The Drum via The Times]