The global pandemic has resulted in record job losses, fear, uncertainty and challenging times for many of us. It has also impacted the livelihoods of influencers, who make a quick buck by promoting brands and products on their social media platforms. However, with many brands reluctant to spend money on advertising during the pandemic, influencers have been left high and dry and resorting to some questionable tactics to keep the money coming in.
Aussie Instagram influencer Miann Scanlan landed in hot water this week when she sent out an 11-page marketing proposal to PR agencies offering “an opportunity for brands to gain access to her stories free of charge through birthday gift story unboxings.” She said the first Instagram story would be free until August 7th, and then any additional post would cost $50 per story.
According to the Daily Telegraph, one publicist labelled Scanlan’s proposal “really distasteful” given the current circumstances and that many businesses are struggling to make ends meet amidst the pandemic.
Following the backlash, Scanlan told her 48.6K Instagram followers she resigned from her full time job earlier this year which was “bad timing as the pandemic hit just after.” The Brisbane-based influencer said she began shooting Instagram content “with hopes to secure paid campaigns,” and that her proposal was merely a way to “reconnect” with old and new PR agencies.
“I have a platform with the ability to boost enquiries and sales for businesses and brands with the potential to also generate income for myself, so why should I be any different?” she ended her lengthy post.
While it appears Scanlan’s ‘I’ll scratch your back, if you scratch mine’ strategy backfired, this isn’t the first time brands, businesses and agencies have gone head-to-head with social media influencers amidst the pandemic.
Speaking of influencers, hear Martha from Married at First get real about reality TV below:
In April, New Zealand patisserie and dessert restaurant Miann, took to Instagram to call out influencers directly. “Dear influencer,” the post begins. “Before you send that email asking us to ‘collab’ with you in return for free products to post on your social pages, PLEASE STOP FOR A SECOND AND THINK.”
“Think about the restaurateurs, food producers, that have had ZERO income for a month, the possibility of 50% drop in revenue for the next few months. Think about the PEOPLE whom you are asking for stuff for free from, to boost your own profile,” they wrote.
“It’s time for you to bring value to your local businesses and go order some food from your favourite places, pay for it, post it, feel good about it. You just helped a small business!”
It was a similar story after actor Harry Cook DM’ed P&V Wine + Liquor Merchants in Sydney looking for a “collab”. Cook asked the business if they’d consider “sending a complimentary case once a month in exchange for some social media promotion?”
The 29-year-old actor was quickly shut down by P&V, who said his message was “totally uncool.”
“We’re in here working our asses off to support a near-devastated hospitality industry with ramifications on primary producers and winemakers who are at the brink in a destroyed industry and you want a free dozen wines a month for social posts? Nah,” they responded.
All of the above is a perfect lesson in reading the room, and realising the reality of the world we’re living in at the moment.
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