Before Keith Weed's crackdown, marketers had pledged to ramp up their spend on influencers

62% of marketers say they'll grow their influencer marketing budgets this year / Photo by Steven Van on Unsplash

Influencer marketing may be in the cross hairs of Unilever CMO Keith Weed, but 62% of his peers have said they'll be growing their influencer marketing budgets in 2018.

That's according to the findings of a March Activate study (spotted by eMarketer) which also found that 61% of influencers enjoyed more sponsored partnership opportunities in 2017 than they had the year before.

It is yet to be seen whether the influential Weed's call for "urgent action" to clean up the influencer marketing ecosystem, made during Cannes Lions in June, will prompt other marketers to follow suit and adjust their budgets.

But the under-the-radar research does demonstrate that for all the recent criticism around influencers' transparency and value, many marketers were planning to devote more spend towards them during 2018.

“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,” Weed said.

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

But while brands want more clarity from influencers, it may be wise for marketers to re-evaluate their side of the relationship too in order to see better results.

Only 39% of influencers who responded to Activate's study said they are provided with comprehensive brand guidelines to adhere to.

In the wake of Weed's comments, brands including L'Oreal, eBay, Samsung, and Diageo have also said they are giving serious consideration to their own influencer arrangements.

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