Time To Call Out Influencers On TV

With all the flack influencer marketing is getting on social, isn't it about time somebody called out influencers and celebrities on television?

It's only right that ASA should be active in warning influencers for not being transparent about relationships with brands that pay for mentions. The watchdog had to remind a former "Love Island" contestant last week, for a second time, that #ad needs to accompany paid-for posts. 

It surely only must be right and proper, then, that television is not let off the hook, and when influencers and celebrities are paid to go on the news and talk about a topic, it should be made clear that they are being paid by a brand. No?

A potential case in point came this morning on "BBC Breakfast" when the guy who came in fourth in this year's "Love Island" -- I think his name is Curtis -- was on the couch talking about the importance of saving. A young hunk moving from trying to pair up with a young lady in a bikini to reminding people of the need to be financially prudent was, to say the least, a bit of a surprise.

That was until he mentioned it was the building society, Nationwide, that had made him realise the importance of saving on the day you get paid. He even name-checked their "Payday Saveday" campaign line. 

I don't know about you, but I'm rather wondering whether Curtis was plucked from posting selfies on Instagram to promote this scheme. We have to wonder because, of course, there is no transparency on celebrities being paid to go out and flog brands' latest campaigns on television. On social they would need to add an #ad. On television there is no such need.

It's something I have a bee in my bonnet about. Sure, when celebrities go on to talk up a charity they love, that's fair enough -- one can see they are giving time to a cause. However, I would say that most days, the tv news and radio has celebrities talking about new research on all manner of subjects and new projects launched by well-known brands. I

t's impossible to say they are not doing it out of kindness, but I would suggest it is often the case that they are being paid as "communicators" to go out there and grab attention.

How else would a bank saying you need to put away a bit of your salary each month get coverage unless there's some "Love Island" contestant who is guaranteed to get time on a talk-show sofa?

So, if influencer marketing on social has to be transparent -- why shouldn't broadcast?

2 comments about "Time To Call Out Influencers On TV".
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  1. Scott Guthrie from sabguthrie, August 13, 2019 at 1:15 p.m.

    It is not only social media influencers who need to be called out for covertly advertising on TV. It's fictional characters like Corrie's David Platt, too.  Every time the Weatherfield barber swaggers down the cobbles nursing a large Costa coffee takeaway cup he's not saying ‘up yours’ to Roy Cropper - owner of cafe, Roy's Rolls. Rather, he’s helping the long-running soap earn more revenue via a product placement programme. 

    Product placement is designated at the start and end of the TV show by the letter P. But who knew? Influencers get hammered (and rightly so) for failing to make their social media ads obviously identifiable as ads. Shouldn't the folks on the telly have the same scrutiny?

    The issue is that Ofcom is responsible for the rules governing product placement, including what can and can't be shown on TV screens. But the ASA is responsible for product placement on social media.

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, August 14, 2019 at 2:21 p.m.

    The worst offenders are the doctors like Dr. Phil shilling for his wife' products and shilling for drug companies. 

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