Celebrity Influencers - Instagram Advertising
There's no doubt about it - celebrity influencers sell products! Collectively on Instagram celebrities have a colossal number of followers - see the top list below - with Selina Gomez in the lead with 120 million followers! That's almost double of the UK’s population!
Top Celebrity Influencers
- Selina Gomez - 120M
- Ariana Grande - 105M
- Taylor Swift - 102M
- Beyonce - 101M
- Cristiano Ronaldo - 101M
- Kim Kardashian - 99M
- Kylie Jenner - 93M
- Justin Bieber - 87M
- Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson - 87M
- Kendall Jenner - 80M
Image by Holly Shortall
Brands are using influencer marketing as a primary way to get a huge organic reach for their products and services, at little cost and with no clear disclosure. Followers are often misled into purchasing products that their favourite celebrity is pictured with on their personal accounts. It is very unclear whether the celebrities are actually using the products or simply just being paid to post. These brands are deceiving consumers and reaping the benefits!
Until now that is...
Last month celebrities were warned about their misleading Instagram ads. The US and the UK are clamping down on influencers who are paid by brands to promote products via their personal profiles for a payment. The Federal Trade Commission (an independent agency of the United States government, established in 1914 by the Federal Trade Commission Act) have issued warnings to more than 90 high profile, influential celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Rita Ora and Rihanna! Now celebrities in the US will need to start using hashtags such as #paidfor, #sponsored or #ad on their paid for posts. The UK watchdog has also been working with big profiles to ensure guidelines are met over here too.
It has also been suggested that celebrities should phrase their captions ‘company x gave me this products to try…’ to make it clear to their followers that they have received the product for free. The rules will also apply to marketing agencies involved in such deals as well as the endorsers themselves.
American celeb Scott Disick made a huge Instagram fail last year - by posting the instructions including the time he should post the photo as well as the caption! Followers noticed immediately and took to the social media site explaining they felt rather deceived!
As a marketing professional, I'm not quite sure how these rules will actually be enforced and monitored, but with the amount of money involved in such ads there needs to be some sort of action!
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