Unilever to clamp down on dishonest influencers in bid to ‘restore trust before it’s too late’

Unilever is to clamp down on “dishonest business models”, including influencers, in a bid to restore trust “before it is lost forever”.


The FMCG firm’s chief marketer, Keith Weed, has declared it will stop working with influencers who buy followers, has pledged that its own brands will not buy followers and said it will prioritise partners who demonstrate transparency and are committed to ridding the industry of dodgy business practices.

Weed, quoted in The Drum, said: “The key to improving the situation is three-fold: 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.

“We need to take urgent action now to rebuild trust before it’s gone forever.”

He added that the integrity and transparency in the influencer space can be improved through “responsible content, responsible platforms and responsible infrastructure”.

“At Unilever, we believe influencers are an important way to reach consumers and grow our brands,” he said. “Their power comes from a deep, authentic and direct connection with people, but certain practices like buying followers can easily undermine these relationships.”

According to The Drum, Weed is expected to convene a meeting of industry representatives including the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) to discuss ways of addressing the issues.

Instagram will also be involved in discussions.



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