Unilever Disrupts Innovative Influencer Marketing Strategy

Unilever, home of over 400 brands and one of the world’s largest advertisers ($7 billion annually), has called a halt to its use of influencer marketers who buy followers. Paying people who have large social media followings to promote products is an innovative practice that has grown rapidly in recent years as brands seek to leverage the popularity of social media platforms. Influencer marketing is believed to be very effective, but there’s a problem: reports have found that some influencers simply buy followers and others use bots to pad their audiences. “We need to take urgent action now to rebuild trust before it’s gone forever," said Unilever CMO Keith Weed. The move is a reminder that disruptive innovations can themselves be subject to a disruptive course correction.  

John Howell, Editorial Director