Influencer Controversy

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Social Media Influencers

Over the past few months there has been a lot of backlash surrounding social media influencers in Ireland. Between issues with advertising, photo-shopping and claims of bullying.

Controversy Around Advertising

Over the last year the social media influencer has come to the front-line over the way they handle advertising. Social media influencers who are paid to promote products are required to disclose this as a marketing post.

One of the first complaints the ASAI “Advertising Standards Authority Ireland” was in June 2017 and since then the number of complaints has rising by about 5%.

This complaint was in relating to a detox drink featured on a social media influencer’s SnapChat. The complaint was made to the ASAI from a member of the public claiming the content had not been identified as sponsored.

This complaint was not upheld or rejected by the ASAI. However, the complaint was published, and the brand was advised that it is their responsibility to insure correct advertising around their products.

According to the ASAI this form of advertising is no different than any other form of advertising and must follow the same guidelines. The guidelines were updated last year and now include areas focused on bloggers and social media marketing.

Controversy Around Photo-shopping

One of the reasons for complaints around the influencer using highly edited pictures ties into the advertising. It is claimed that if pictures are over edited then it can lead to misleading information.

For example, if an influencer was promoting a makeup brand but their pictures are edited to remove all flaws, then the consumer is deceived into thinking the effects come from the product alone.

Another reason for the backlash when it comes to over edited pictures is how misleading it can be for young followers. As some of the images are so heavily edited they portray an image of perfection. It is claimed that this can have a negative effect on young followers and lead to body confidence issues.

Social Media Influencer – Bullying

There has been a lot of forums set up online discussing the above topics and calling out specific social media influencers. Some of these forms target certain influencers and can get out of hand very quickly. Over the last few months Irish influencers have come together to claim this as a form of online bullying.

It is claimed that some of the content targeted towards them relates to their private lives and is a form of bullying. Together these Irish influencers have vowed to do more to prevent this type of bullying. I think in the next few months we will read a lot more about these issues.

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