Influencer marketing needs to clean up its act
, 2022-11-21 20:26:15,
One of the world’s biggest celebrity influencer Kim Kardashian was penalised by the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) for inadequately informing her millions of followers that a post she made promoting cryptocurrency was an ad.
As a result, the most famous Kardashian ended up paying the SEC $1.26m (R22m) in fines, more than $1m (R18m) what she had been paid for the ad in the first place.
Closer to home, Ithuba, the operator of South Africa’s national lottery, and several influencers who work with them were censured by the Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB) for conducting a campaign that failed to disclose the fact that the influencers were being paid.
In both cases, the influencers involved broke one of the cardinal rules of influencer marketing, “don’t sell out your audience”. It may get you short-term gains but in the long term, you erode trust. If your audience no longer trusts you, then you can kiss all of your dreams of being a heavyweight influencer goodbye.
Both Ithuba and the influencers involved managed to escape more severe punishment because they are not members of the ARB or the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), but the winds of regulatory change are beginning to shift and it will not be long before the practice of non-disclosure will be met with a firm hand.
Ethical business is good business
The US, Europe and the UK all have clear laws about disclosure. For example, in France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy, the UK and US partnerships must be…
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