The Murky World of Influencer Marketing: How Non-Disclosure Can Hurt Your Brand

By Jonathan Crossfield

Ever since marketers cottoned on to the potential for social media to drive influential word-of-mouth brand recommendations, they’ve tried to either foster or fake these discussions.

“I heartily endorse this event or product,” says a monotone Krusty the Clown in a snippet of video used to advertise everything from cough syrup to atomic particle accelerators. Krusty’s cut-and-paste approach to celebrity endorsement might be a long-running gag on The Simpsons, but the rise of influencer marketing in social media may mean the joke is getting just a little too close to reality.

Last year, Scott Disick of Keeping Up with the Kardashians fame (don’t worry, I didn’t know either) accidentally revealed to his Instagram audience just how little effort he puts in to his well-paid endorsements by cutting and pasting a little more than he intended:

“Here you go, at 4pm est, write the below: ‘Keeping up with the summer workout routine with my morning @booteauk protein shake!”

scott-disick-instagram-us-weekly (1)

Leaving aside the carelessness with which Disick carries out his sponsored activities – I mean, he had one job to do – don’t let it escape your notice that the brand also scripted the post for him. I like to imagine those 12 unremarkable words were the result of a lengthy copywriting process of agency drafts and stakeholder approvals where no one – even Disick himself – noticed that he’s supposedly preparing his morning protein shake at 4 in the afternoon. And, while Disick may have unwittingly disclosed the brand relationship, the intended text contains no such disclosure. The whole exercise is about as authentic and convincing as the president’s hair.

Whom do you trust?

It’s …read more

Source:: content marketing

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