Sophie Monk Coins A Big Huawei Paycheck As Probe Into ‘Influencers’ Kicks Off
As Australian celebrity Sophie Monks gets a big pay day spruiking the struggling Huawei top end smartphone with a questionable security reputation, regulators in the UK the UK’s consumer protection and competition watchdog is extending its investigation into how celebrity “influencers” endorse products online and will now examine the role of the social media platforms they use.
Monk who has spent the last week working with Huawei spin doctors, has already grabbed headlines claiming that “48 hours battery life is better than sex”. The statement itself is questionable after we struggled to get 30 hours battery life for what is an excellent smartphone.
The Huawei brand is already tarnished and using a fading in love out of love celebrity to spruik the brand which is currently taking a battering global after several Governments moved to ban Huawei.
Back in August Huawei was banned from taking part in Australia’s next generation mobile network, 5G, because of national security concerns.
New Zealand, the US and other western nations have also expressed concerns about the company possibly getting access to information networks that could include defence, government and commercial secrets.
The latest influencer stunt shows how desperate the cash rich Company is to get attention after a $6M marketing campaign prior to the holiday period failed to excite consumers.
“All I want is a good phone; I don’t really care where it comes from.” Monk bleated.
“I was thinking even if a nude shot got out there, I’d rather have my phone with everything on it and take that risk,” she said.
Last night the UK The Competition and Markets Authority told several influencers — bloggers, bloggers and social media personalities — to ensure they were clearly informing their followers if they were being paid or otherwise rewarded to endorse products in their social media feeds.
Like Monk tens of thousands of consumers follow celebrities online to see where they go on holiday, what they wear and which products they use.
Now the UK watchdog CMA is targeting ‘influencer’ endorsements.
The regulator said warning letters had been sent to a number of celebrities urging them to review their practices “where some concerns have been identified”.
Andrea Coscelli, the CMA’s chief executive, said people could “feel misled if what they thought was a recommendation from someone they admired, turns out to be a marketing ploy”.
Some claim the Monk deal fits into this category.
The consumer protection body also said it would further investigate “the role and responsibilities of social media platforms” as an extension of the probe.
While the regulator did not identify which groups, it intended to look at, Facebook-owned Instagram and Google-owned YouTube are the primary global platforms for celebrities to engage with their fans, particularly when it comes to endorsing products and services.
A spokesperson for Instagram said the network had introduced a tag so users could identify when content had been paid for.
“We will continue to work with the CMA on this topic,” they said.
Twitter and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment.