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Digital Transformation

People are getting sick of 'repetitive' influencer posts and 49% want stricter rules on ads

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By Rebecca Stewart | Trends Editor

August 2, 2018 | 4 min read

Almost half (49%) of people would like to see ad regulators enforce stricter rules for sponsored influencer posts while a further 47% are 'fatigued' by repetitive influencer posts on platforms like Instagram, according to research.

The figures come from retail marketing firm Bazaarvoice, which commissioned Morar Research to ask 4,000 consumers across the UK, Germany and France about their attitudes to influencers.

Influencer Louise Thompson has been rebuked by the ASA for sponsored Instagram posts.

Made in Chelsea star and influencer Louise Thompson was recently rebuked by the ASA over sponsored Instagram posts.

As well as bemoaning a lack of transparency, 23% also said that amid advertiser pressure to scale up the frequency and reach of influencer content, quality is slipping.

Bazaarvoice's findings come as regulators face mounting pressure to tighten the screw on influencer marketing.

In the UK alone, the subject of policing paid for influencer content has been under intense scrutiny, with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) launching its own review into whether commonly-used indicators like #spon, #ad and #sp are clear enough.

Guy Parker, the ASA's chief executive has previously said that people shouldn’t "have to play the detective to work out if they’re being advertised to," and last month the watchdog banned an Instagram ad from reality star Louise Thompson for failing to make it clear that an image was sponsored.

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On top of repetitive posts and a lack of quality, 62% of those surveyed felt influencer content 'takes advantage of impressionable audiences'. 55% said this was because aspirational posts were 'too materialistic' while 54% said influencers 'misrepresented real life'.

While the way content is badged has been subject to scrutiny from regulators, so has the integrity of influencer marketing. In June, Unilever's top marketer Keith Weed called on the industry to take "urgent action" now to rebuild trust in influencer marketing.

Weed's call to arms was centered around the damaging practice of buying followers, or influencer ad fraud; an issue brands like L'Oreal and Samsung have already been working to solve.

A recent study from the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) found that 65% of multinational brands have plans to increase their influencer investment in the coming 12 months, with Instagram being the main target.

However, figures from CampaignDeus showed that brands should spend with caution, claiming that around 12% of Instagram influencers has purchased bot followers in the first six months of the year.

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