Unilever has set up a process and asking all its social media influencers to give themselves an authenticity check. The company, which has brands such as Dove, Lipton tea, and many other high-end and well-pitched brands associated with it, has put a mandate that it won’t be working with influencers who will be buying social media followers.
Speaking on this occasion, Chief Marketing Officer for Unilever, Keith Weed, said, “At Unilever, we believe influencers are an important way to reach consumers and grow our brands. Their power comes from a deep, authentic and direct connection with people, but certain practices like buying followers can easily undermine these relationships. We need to take urgent action to rebuild trust before it’s gone forever.”
The British-Dutch transnational consumer goods company will be announcing the new policy at the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival, scheduled for Monday. Many large advertisers have started using influencers quite frequently. Competitors of Unilever such as Procter & Gamble also began to work with many such influencers. P&G Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard stated, “We are getting others to speak on our behalf.” He further added that “You can work with influencers and then influencers can speak on our behalf and drive their own social media audiences to be able to draw people in.”
Bloggers and tweeters also play a crucial role in this process. The more these people help companies like Unilever and P&G increase their reach, the more these marketers pay them. According to a data stated by Capitv8, an organization that connects influencers to brands, if the influencers can get in 100,000 followers, then these marketers pay them around $2000. The number spikes up to $20,000 if the follower count touches a million.
This policy is the latest step to curb this continually looming threat in the field of online advertising, as we see more and more consumers getting on to social media, streaming video and mobile devices.