“More of what?” I hear you ask.
More of this, please:
Our local “influencers” need to do this too, please.
I’m so tired of Instagram posts in which the subject “just happens” to be wearing the dress she got from this store or the bag that she was sent by that brand. Blog posts detailing wonderful weekends away, the best bit of which – you later discover – was that the experience was provided free of charge (or at least in exchange for a blog post detailing just how wonderful the wonderful weekend was).
The lack of any clear disclosure that product endorsement is being paid for is duplicitous and disingenuous. In the UK, it’s also illegal. But this isn’t the UK and there are plenty (or more) budding “social media stars” and wannabes who are quite prepared to leave their ethics at the door and quietly sell their pixels for an unnamed fee.
Of course, fooling the public relies on the public being foolish enough to be fooled, but look at those 419 emails telling you about the $11,000,000 ELEVEN MILLION USD that they’ve been left in a will, which they’ll gladly share with you if you help them out with the legal costs. You wouldn’t ever fall for one of those though, would you? But clearly, some people do, because those scammers keep sending them. So it stands to reason that some individuals will be taken in by an undisclosed product endorsement.
I’m not saying that our local influencers are scamming anyone, of course. But what a lot of them are doing is ethically dubious: promoting a lifestyle they don’t lead, with goods that they haven’t paid for, in places they’re being hosted for free, while making out that it’s the best thing ever and that you can have it all too.
Sadly, it seems that this trend of social media influencers isn’t going away any time soon. So maybe it’s about time that there were rules put in place to ensure a bit more honesty in the way that they behave. Please.
This post was not sponsored by anyone.