Unilever has been a strong advocate for better transparency and reduced fraud when it comes to online advertisements. In an effort to improve the effectiveness of their advertising, they recently announced that they will no longer be working with any influencers who have been shown to buy followers.
Many influencers are known to have bought followers to boost their numbers, which can increase the amount of money they get paid for an endorsement. When a brand knows that this is the case, they can often negotiate a lower rate to compensate. With this announcement, however, Unilever is showing that they value honest numbers and accuracy more than anything.
CMO of Unilever, Keith Weed, said, “The key to improving the situation is threefold: cleaning up the influencer ecosystem by removing misleading engagement; making brands and influencers more aware of the use of dishonest practices; and improving transparency from social platforms to help brands measure impact.”
He went on to say, “We need to take urgent action now to rebuild trust before it’s gone forever.”
In addition to saying that Unilever will not be working with influencers who are known to have bought followers, it was also confirmed that Unilever itself will never buy followers.
They didn’t unveil how they will be monitoring or detecting when an influencer buys followers though. They simply said that they have a number of tools, and will work with ad agencies and other platforms to ensure they can protect their brand and marketing dollars.