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Influencer ethics on Instagram 2

999 replies

MadameGrizzly · 16/05/2018 09:37

It appears we haven't quite finished workshopping the ethical issues of 'influencing' on Instagram: disclose of advertising, the exploitation of minors and the similarities to MLM schemes.

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PavlovaPrincess · 16/05/2018 11:40

I have never seen a bad review of a free product so it must be... advertising

This, this, this! It's all very well saying that's 'gifts' are sent to an influencer in the hope of an honest review and the influencer can say what's they like about them, but I've never actually seen anything even close to negative about a so called 'gift'. At the most, the influencer will gush over the product and at the very least they will feature it a photo or wear it, which implies that they endorse it in some way.

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bernardswatch · 16/05/2018 11:42

I was wondering if anyone knew who who coined the phrase 'influencer'? Do they have that much influence? I know there have been 'it' dresses, but does it go much beyond that? I imagine some products have had their reputations damaged by their association with certain IGers, given the feedback on here.

neverwas to be fair, the term itself came from agencies and those working brand-side. It was a catch-all term when the word “blogger” and “vlogger” could no longer be used, given a lot of these people are multi-platform or don’t even have blogs or YT channels at all and are simply “Insta-famous” as it were. The decision to refer to oneself as an influencer though? Well, that’s something else entirely Wink

And yes they do have influence, follower numbers most certainly do not indicate influence but the sales figures/traffic stats are there to be analysed if brands bother to do so. Ridiculously, a lot of brands seem to be happy to just be mentioned by large accounts and whether this translates to sales is just by the by Hmm Crazy, I know.

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MarshaBradyo · 16/05/2018 11:42

I doubt they’d do a bad review as other brands might think oh hang on I’d better not risk it. Might curtail the freebies

They’d not do the review at all as it ‘doesn’t fit’

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lastnightidreamtofpotatoes · 16/05/2018 11:43

I have never seen a bad review of a free product so it must be... advertising

I was heartened to read a review #AD on Largerfamilylife's account about a huge washing machine they were sent. She initially said it was good, but came back a week or two later to say DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT because of xyz flaws.

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bernardswatch · 16/05/2018 11:45

I have never seen a bad review of a free product so it must be... advertising

Agreed, I suppose the influencer argument is that the gift wouldn’t have been featured at all if it wasn’t “great”. Although of course by not posting the gift at all you’re arguably risking not getting further freebies from said brand/agency (remember one PR will represent a lot of clients, it might be deemed worth featuring the naff ones under the hope of getting the good stuff).

Again, will come down to individual influencer ethics and how much they care about their audience wasting their money vs how much they want free stuff/paid work for themselves.

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MarshaBradyo · 16/05/2018 11:46

The talk in agencies, a year or so ago, was that small to medium influencers were the right ones to target. Because people are more likely to trust them and think they’re friends

It’s right that people should be cynical and question just how much brands are calculating how to sell to you

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MadameGrizzly · 16/05/2018 11:47

But if they don't review a product they might not be sent anything else from that particular brand. So I think they do one of those awkward reviews that doesn't sound quite right, but it doesn't read as negative either.

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Reboot · 16/05/2018 11:48

It is all about the trust Wink

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JellyDots · 16/05/2018 11:48

@anyalovesrose

I’m like jamoncrumpets - very much your target audience, or I was very much your target audience. I unfollowed you and FOD for exactly the same reason I fast forward adverts on TV. I think it was the Volvo ad that eventually did it, although I did come back for a bit - long enough for the cringefest that was the washing machine saga. (Although not long enough to find out whether you got a free one, because sadly, that seemed to be where it was going.) I don’t mean to bash you, but honestly, whether you realise it or not - that’s exactly how it came across.

Every now and then one of you pops up on my insta, and I’ll read it and think ‘oh this is funny/relevant to me/whatever - why did I unfollow these guys?’ So I revisit your accounts and remind myself.

I am solidly no longer your target audience - and I struggle to know who is. What I love about social media is that is has so much power to do good. When I first followed you, you made me feel normal. Like, here’s this woman, who’s just like me, winging life, parenthood, working hard (in the same profession) - I felt so happy about your book, and all the potential good you and other ‘normal’ women/mums/dads/families/men were doing on social media.

But you’re not ‘normal’ anymore. Certainly not my normal. It’s very easy to have comical car journeys in a free car. It must be great to go to Florida without worrying about whether we’ve exceeded our (small) daily budget. If my washing machine breaks, I have no hope of a free one taking its place. The real kicker though, was before the ‘paid partnership’ thing had subtly crept in, and you all went to Portugal or somewhere(?!) - a little villa anyway. And it was all so, look at us, and we amaaaazzzzziiiiinnnnmgggg, in this oh-so-cute little villa, all cultural and worthy, dripping in the right clothes and doing/saying the right thing.

Suddenly I (and many others) felt very inadequate. Your comment about ‘working hard’ makes me feel very inadequate - I work hard too. Working hard does not guarantee the spills you guys have had, and I honestly don’t think you see that. I think I’m right in thinking that you do 1 shift a week now - and if that’s the case, you truly have lost touch. 1 shift a week is something many of your original followers can only dream of - but hey, if we carry on working hard maybe we’ll get free cars, holidays and appliances too - or not.

You (and other insta influencers) are like the modern day versions of 90s glossy magazines. Full of unrealistic portrayals, photoshopped within an inch of its life, making us feel unworthy for not working hard enough. Desperately crying out for someone to wipe the filter off so we can all go back to feeling normal again.

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MadameGrizzly · 16/05/2018 11:48

Snap, bernardswatch.

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EeebyMum · 16/05/2018 11:50

Does SV not see the absolute irony of her KK stories this morning. If you don’t like it - don’t follow, jealousy is not a good look, mothers 4 mothers, women supporting women etc etc etc.

(For balance, her DIY stories over the weekend were v funny)

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eagleflies · 16/05/2018 11:50

I have never seen a bad review of a free product so it must be... advertising

I have, to be fair. Or rather, I've not seen a bad review as such but a very balanced one which pointed out the product's flaws and why it might not be suitable for everyone.

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eagleflies · 16/05/2018 11:50

Sorry the first but was a quote and was meant to be in bold!

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MarshaBradyo · 16/05/2018 11:52

Ach Eeby sounds painful. I don’t follow but thought she did the odd funny post. But really enough with the cringeyness

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NeverWas · 16/05/2018 11:57

Thanks Bernardswatch. I wondered about the sales stats. I guess the general public don't have access to that information.

I'm in the same position as a pp - middle class two income family. I would have thought I was a target audience for the instamums. But I started to notice last year that the amount of money 'being spent' on holidays, children's clothes and interiors seemed to be that of people with apparently much much higher incomes than me, although they had initially seemed relatable. It might seem a bit thick but it took me quite a while to join the dots and realise it was actually advertising.

I don't think it's unreasonable to challenge the image of 'wealth' if it is faked by living on freebies and then selling it to your audience without disclosing that's what your doing.

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FlyingBird · 16/05/2018 12:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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NeverWas · 16/05/2018 12:04

MP recently did an amusing story giving a 'bad review' of an 'intimate skin wash' by saying women don't need them and the wording of the product was cringey.

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PavlovaPrincess · 16/05/2018 12:10

Oh the irony of SV slagging off KK. Doesn't she know that Kim is doing it for the sisterhood? What happened to women supporting women? Isn't Kim just a mama trying to make a living like us all?

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PavlovaPrincess · 16/05/2018 12:12

Also for balance, I actually find SV quite funny too, especially when she's bitching. But what makes KK fair game but the Instamums off limit?

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TheLadyhasarrived · 16/05/2018 12:13

I was thinking about anyalovesrose reply to my question about the NMC while I was walking the dog (how did I ever solve any problem before I had a dog to walk?) and it must be hard to give people what they want ie more midwifery and related content when the professional body doesn’t allow this and it can impact your “real life” work as in the breastfeeding post.
So in order to grow you have to go in a different direction so as not to compromise professional standards.

Then you have the situation where bloggers/instas with actual qualifications can’t say anything in that role but completely unqualified bloggers/instas can give “advice” or opinions completely unchecked, as in the mental health area for example.

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EeebyMum · 16/05/2018 12:15

@pavlovaprincess exactly

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jamoncrumpets · 16/05/2018 12:16

Those KK lollipop ads are completely irresponsible. I'm happy for anyone to challenge them, influencer or pleb.

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NeverWas · 16/05/2018 12:16

A good example for me was a mattress that must have been sent to every IGer in Britain by the looks of it. I needed a new mattress for dc and so actually did look it up. I nearly spat my teeth out at the price, and when I read the online reviews they weren't that great. I then did notice a couple of the IGers saying it was in their spare room... perhaps that was as far as they'd go to express a bad review. (Unless they're all really lovely and want their guests to have a better night's sleep than themselves!).

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NeverWas · 16/05/2018 12:18

Yes TheLady, that's why you won't see any instalawyers anytime soon. (Well I bloody hope not).

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FlyingBird · 16/05/2018 12:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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