- Consumer goods maker vows to never buy followers for any of its brands
- The world’s second largest advertiser holds sway over how the industry develops
Unilever, the world’s second largest advertiser, will no longer work with social media ‘influencers’ who buy fake followers.
The maker of household names such as Persil and PG tips, has also vowed to never buy followers for its brands.
Influencers are those with significant social media followings who promote brands in exchange for payment.
The company owns brands such as Marmite, PG and Pot Noodle
Influencers can earn hundreds or even thousands of pounds for a single post. The money they earn is usually directly linked to their number of followers.
The industry is now worth hundreds of millions of pounds.
Unilever’s chief marketing officer Keith Weed spoke out against bad apples lowering trust between consumers and brands.
‘Trust comes on foot and leaves on horseback, and we could very quickly see the whole influencer space be undermined,’ Weed told Reuters. ‘There are lots of great influencers out there, but there are a few bad apples spoiling the barrel and the trouble is, everyone goes down once the trust is undermined.’
Earlier this year, Unilever threatened to pull digital advertising from Facebook and Google citing a ‘toxic’ environment online.
At the time Weed said ‘We cannot have an environment where our consumers don’t trust what they see online,’ said Unilever’s chief marketing officer Keith Weed.’
Facebook quickly signaled that it would make changes to the platform to meet Unilever’s wishes.