I found this post by Taylor Lorenz describing how aspiring influencers are posting fake, unpaid sponsored content to raise their status or hoping to nab a real sponsorship is totally bananas.

4 thoughts on “Sponcon Posts

  1. You have no idea just how bananas this is from a ‘German’ perspective:

    Big blogger discussion here has been how blogging (and such) is work, should be done as such, hence as something paid. Not for free. But of course, that’s mainly coming from established fashion and lifestyle and travel bloggers who aren’t still at the beginning.

    Then, there’s how German courts decided that Instagram posts tagging company accounts constituted commercial communications, thus had to be marked as advertising. So now, afraid of fees for missing disclosures, many people label everything that mentions a brand or destination account an advertisement, effectively erasing the separation between sponsored deals and own posts.

    (That should work better with blog posts, since those could explain how things were received, but there is a continuing tendency to apply very different rules to bloggers vs. journalists – and of bloggers and others to not quite label how they got what they are talking about. Then again, not every post/video of mine says if/when I bought something myself… and according to some of those court rulings, maybe I’d still need to label those as ads, even though I bought the products myself and/or have my editorial independence.)

  2. Wow, that’s really crazy! As a wine blogger who receives cases of wine every month to write about, I also think it’s important to actually PAY for wine as well and to be clear about what’s sponsored and what’s not. I also get sent on press trips, and again, I think it’s important to write about sponsored content as well as non-sponsored content. It never occurred to me to lie about what I get as gifts to make it seem like more!

    PS Happy birthday in advance!

  3. This is actually really sad, and pathetic at the same time. You build an ’empire’ around the idea of feeding people your fake lifestyle dung, just to get those same people to pay your bills. Honestly, the audacity to say things like, “What do they [followers] know.”.

    And the worst part is that there are people on this planet who believe in this kind of stuff. How tragic it must be to suffer from complexities like status quo and lifestyle ‘quality’ based on your Instagram bullshit-ery.

    To think that you as a person can sit at your home, come up with this brilliant idea to scam other people, and then live your life and pretend you are happy?

    There are some serious underlying issues underneath these types of behaviors. But hey, it doesn’t really affect me so what do I care. 🙂

  4. After reading this, I decided to update my Instagram bio and insert: “All 5K+ posts: #NotSponsored…” I seriousy doubt anyone would think I am an “influencer” or get paid to post sponsored content – I’m not and I don’t. I’ve actually refused these offers from startup and niche brands that somehow wanted me to rep them (have no idea why?) in some way.

    I love taking pictures and grew up in a family of picture takers, but I hated being in the photos. So you rarely see me in any of the photos I post. My Instagram is an outgrowth of one of my Facebook accounts. On FB I posted pictures of events I attended in and around Chicago (I am not originally from Chicago) as part of a “seduction” to tempt women in my FB to visit me in Chicago as most of them were in another country and not in USA. Realizing that they never would visit and instead just wait on my next round of pics, the “seduction” was a failure. But they did love my pics! So I kept posting them. Eventually, I created a YouTube channel “MyChicagoJourneys” and posted mainly short video clips. But the videos were crap and I never aspired to be a real “YouTuber” anyways.

    Once Instagram became hot I went there and it was so much easier to just post on Instagram. But I do it all for fun and to keep my editing skills sharp since I am a graphic designer and web designer/developer. I don’t want anyone to pay me for a post I make on my Instagram in my accounts that I have.

    But I do get paid to post content I don’t create on my clients Instagram, but it’s all their photos/videos and not mine. I manage their social media for them as an extension of my website, design and printing services I provide them with. None of them consider me an “influencer” or anyone special on Instagram. I just like showing off Chicago to the world. I don’t think I would enjoy it as much if someone was writing me a check to do it or sending me free stuff and letting me in to cool events, etc.

    This article “influenced” me to add the “#NotSponsored” hashtag to my bio to avoid any confusion. Likely wasn’t necessary, but you never know. Thanks for sharing this Matt! Happy Holidays