Hot on the heels of the recent announcement from international retailer 'Lush Cosmetics' who are abandoning Social Media in light of fraud and trying to 'game' algorithms, we now find that one of the worlds biggest advertising companies and global FMCG brand owner 'Unilever' have decided to fall out with influencer's.

Chief Marketing Officer Keith Weed explained that “urgent action” is needed to “rebuild trust before it’s gone forever.” This includes a pledge that Unilever will never buy followers or work with social media influencers who do so, while also prioritizing social media channels that work to increase transparency themselves.

In my view, this is a great example of brands and companies stuck in a 'broadcast & advertising' mindset, it's all about 'me, me, me and more me' rather than engaging in social in a 'social' way. Over the years Unilever have created some amazing gender promoting, body conscious campaign's which have given them resonance with potential customers.

Unfortunately having taken (probably the media agency recommendation)  to 'leverage' someone else's version of the 'Unilever' voice, its back fired as it has with numerous other brands and companies.

Brands don't really take the time to understand the social media space, related (unspoken) etiquette, or relationship value that an internally aligned social media strategy should be able to deliver. So they do what they have always done and advertise, or in this case piggy back off so called 'influencers' who for a few ££/$$ can 'buy' lots of false followers.

I know someone who says they have 2m+ followers on Instagram and are getting paid interesting numbers by lazy brands/agencies to 'promote' them, but can they actually prove that these haven't been bought over a period of time - who is actually doing the due diligence?

It's just another version of 'ad fraud' in my opinion.

I wrote an article on LinkedIn sometime ago about this very subject which can be found here

In the article I discuss the move of marketing budgets as recommended by the 'retained' media agency into working with 'Influencers' without any real due diligence and its now back firing.

In the article I provide an example of how you 'could' be doing a lot of this yourself;

"Fast forward to today when at no time in history have you and me been in more control of where, how, and what we watch our flavour of content. Technology has empowered us so much we can now consume as much content as we can eat, and all without those intrusive adverts. So, if you need to get your brand message across, and get heard above the barrage of noise we have come to know as 'the internet' what have we chosen to do?

We have elected with our marketing budgets to seek out those cheeky millenials with their 'Instagram/Facebook' followers (how do they get zillions of followers?) and induce them to 'jack' their feeds with our product/service offer. WHY? because we don't quite understand how they do it".

At the DLA we don't do outbound marketing, we don't work on retainers, we don't manage or produce your content. We are active 'practitioners' of what we do, and we can prove the ROI.

Our mission is to empower you and your employees to harness and weaponise the true power with social selling without external agencies, and most definitely without 'influencers'.

If you are a 'ChangeMaker' of your business, or a senior member of the Leadership team in FMCG and would like to understand more about today's process in 'social buying' then by all means connect with me on Linkedin here or drop me a note at