Sunday, 22 January 2017

#AD


I am a long time fan of social media. I had an unhealthy obsession with Piczo and fancied myself quite the web designer at the grand old age of thirteen. I embraced the early emo selfie on MySpace and coveted the love on Bebo like no other throughout my teens. Pretty much any social media phenomena I have been very, very into. I'm more of a creative soul and I'm also naturally nosey so when Youtube and Blogs surrounding fashion, beauty and lifestyle showed up I was in my absoloute element. I couldn't get enough of watching hauls and tutorials and reading everyones review of the latest beauty product or online boutique. Needless to say I did pick up on the brand collaborations pretty early on in the game. When you are scrolling through Bloglovin on the way to work and notice six different beauty bloggers raving about the latest Marc Jacobs scent, alarm bells start ringing.

I'm studying PR at Uni and we talk about paid advertising and brand collaborations a lot both in and out of class. My first thought on the entire business is whether they think we as an audience and consumers are actually that stupid? Some of the #ad posts I see on Instagram are insulting to my intelligence and the last thing I would do is go and purchase the skinny tea or cellulite cream that the realty TV star is 'raving' about. It is pure laziness is some cases too, I see bloggers and celebrities posting photos that are almost the opposite of their brand and it just comes across as stale and disingenuous. The descriptions of the #ad photos are sometimes so obviously pasted directly from the e-mail and the photos usually feature poor lighting and an unoriginal composition that has been taken out of necessity rather than passion.

Now I'm in no way saying bloggers shouldn't be collaborating with brands, they should. I have discovered an unlimited amount of products, online shops and services because a blogger or vlogger has recommended them. My entire point is to do so with integrity and team up with a brand because they compliment your aesthetic and voice. Ethically I can't understand telling your followers who trust you that you love something which you have barely or sometimes never even used. It tars everyone with the same brush and the media crucify the industry for this type of fakery. The Instagram and other social media platforms are perfect for pushing new brands and Etsy shops that maybe can't afford a big marketing budget and its truly a shame that this form of advertising is being ruined by the greed of certain individuals. 

Some content creators and celebrities do this beautifully and seamlessly, combining their craft with making money and running a blog business. More power to them and the result for the blogger and the brand are going to be infinitely better as they will be gaining genuine interest from the desired target audience. A lot of vloggers have started sharing the products they receive from companies on Snapchat and in vlogs, which I think can only be a positive thing as it keeps the communication open. If you are priviledged enough to make a great living from brand collaborations there is a duty of care and these influencers should take that responsibility seriously. The brands involved also have a role to play and it's definitely time for them to step up and not use manipulative methods to push products. Companies marketing on social media need to be a lot wiser when choosing who to work with. Reality TV stars or influencers who don't represent their brand effectively and with transparency are going to end up have a reverse effect on sales as the sincerity of the campaign is lost. 


The FCT regulations that are in place are definitely helping the issue as post are supposed to be clearly marked as a sponsored service or product. Not that this is always adhered to but at least it's a step in the right direction. At the end of the day consumers are sick of being manipulated and are increasingly less likely to engage with social media #ads, so it is damaging to everybody. As a blogger with a smaller following  my philosophy is to only work with brands that I am passionate about and would work with without any monetary benefits. Transparency is key, consumer deserve high quality and genuine reviews and collaborations from influencers.

L x
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14 comments

  1. Wow not come any other bloggers who used piczo before. Used to love there and was utterly obsessed! I'd go as far as saying I was better at design then. I don't remember or know anything about coding since which is really annoying! I love social media on the most part too x

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  2. I totally agree with your views on this, I don't mind if people receive payment but I want them to be upfront about it, truthful and ensure its relevant to them and their target audience. I would love to get brand collaborations and if I ever do I will be sticking to these rules.

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    1. Great attitude there needs to be more bloggers like you out there! L x

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  3. Some great points here. I remember bebo and my space. I do wonder what happened to them, Facebook sort of took over. I have never actually heard of Piczo x

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  4. Great points here, I don't have an issue with people earning money from blogging - in fact I applaud them! I just want them to be upfront about it x

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    1. Exactly collaborations are vital for bloggers livelihood but consumers and followers deserve transparency and great quality! Thanks for reading Stephanie! L x

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  5. I agree with you on a lot of things, I think people should only collaborate with brands which go with their branding x

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    1. Yes exactly there is nothing wrong with sponsorships they should just be genuine and the collaboration should be right on a branding level! Thanks for reading Rhian x

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  6. Great points here. I used to love Bebo and Piczo I was obsessed with them as a teenager.

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  7. OMG PICZO! How could I have forgot about that?! I loved it!

    Love how honest this post is - theres nothing more annoying than someone blatantly advertising a product when it's out of their element or the complete opposite of what they do. So irritating! xo

    Emma-Louise | Dino's Beauty

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  8. I have to totally agree with you. I am a blogger but don't get many opportunities yet, but the ones I have do fit with my ethos. I have turned down things because they don't fit.

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  9. I agree that transparency is key. It's all about respecting your readers and being honest with them, whether you are being paid or not! :)

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  10. I always trial products thoroughly before posting and have on some occasions contacted companies to say I can't write about their products where they haven't done what they have claimed to do.

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  11. I totally agree that transparency is key and that bloggers should only accept products that they're really going to test themselves and believe in too. I would never buy anything advertised by a Kardashian, it's obviously so so fake!

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