Influencers Threatening Aussie Businesses?

This month influencer Chloe Roberts, with 128,000 followers on Instagram, successfully sued Melbourne cafe Legacy for $1,676. This case arose after the owner of Legacy agreed to pay Roberts $300/post, but failed to pay when Roberts archived them a week after publishing. Owner Katsiogiannis claims that this was not part of their agreement, but was still ordered by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to pay up.

Source: [Instagram]

Roberts claimed that this was done to avoid clogging up her feed, and to keep her profile profitable. Unless you’re Kim Kardashion, I personally think archiving posts after a week is an obvious breach of contract.

Businesses held at ransom:

Okay, so whether or not you think that was a fair trial, listen to this. Perth restaurant owners revealed that Influencers are holding them at ransom – demanding free food in return for the possibility of a post or mention.

Many of these businesses have been forced to provide influencers with free food, to avoid negative publicity or reviews. One cafe owner, Lara Wolinski (The Sparrow’s Nest cafe in Perth) admits she’s getting 3-4 requests a week from influencers – and has never turned one down!

It’s clear that these days we’re consumers are all about authenticity. We’ve clearly seen a downward trend in influencer marketing as opposed to upward trend in UGC.
[Source]

This is a strange phenomenon:

This is a strange phenomenon, specifically for Australian hospitality businesses. Influencers and UGC (User Generated Content) are coming to a strange meeting point, where influencers are threatening a brand’s UCG (i.e. reviews) to eat free food (in return for Influencer content).

  • Australian hospitality retailers are losing trust with influencers, as they gain a reputation of being demanding and pushy.
  • This media attention continues to decrease Influencer credibility, making it questionable whether such cafes will gain any positive awareness from these kind of posts.

Do you think influencers are losing their credibility left, right and centre? Is this simply the icing on the cake?

30 thoughts on “Influencers Threatening Aussie Businesses?

  1. Interesting post ! Unfortunately for legacy – a contract is a contract and failing to adhere to what he had agreed to would undo the foundations for which we have created out own systems of order. When it comes to influencers however, I truly believe they are losing creditability everyday or at least the more typified ones are. Influencers might be pivotal to creating awareness for a particular brand but their standing ovation wont be enough to get me over the line.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely, I can see why Legacy had to pay up – goes to show how important a thorough and written contract is when drawing up agreements with influencers. I just can’t believe she thought it was appropriate to delete the posts after a few days – for $300 a pop! I’m in your boat, an influencer post may gain awareness but will not get me over the line to purchase.
      We may be in the middle of an influencer revolution – all the seemingly fake ones drop off and only the best remain to actually influence??

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think so too and for good reason. A lot of influencers have lost their creditability.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Agreed! We’re definitely in a strange period where things are changing and consolidating for influencers. Thanks Dim!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow that’s crazy, I think it’s super unprofessional to only after a week archive the post! That makes it seem like the influencer only did it for the money. Sometimes I personally question the motives of smaller influencers, and it doesn’t resonate well that they ask these cafes to pay them! It’s more credible when they’ve been invited. Thanks for a great post Indi!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A great point! Being invited to dine at these cafes would definitely gain credibility for me. I personally put all of these influencer cafe posts in one category as I don’t trust that they’ve actually been invited when they say they have. It’s all very fishy. Thanks for reading Sheri 🙂

      Like

  3. Really interesting post! I know personally when I see an “ad” Instagram from an influencer I do become a bit more skeptical of the product. However user-generated content I find to be very reliable and I’m often more likely to buy a product when I can ‘normal’ people post about a product on their social media.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A great point, Hayley! Seeing common people rave about a product more often than not encourages me to purchase it. Thanks for reading 🙂

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  4. I couldn’t agree more that it seems a bit unfair for the cafe, however this goes to show that there are so many new considerations in these sort of contracts and marketing. It is interesting as well to see that the power is really going to the influencers and it encourages businesses to be mindful of them as a marketing channel

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a real grey area for many businesses, absolutely! Even if certain businesses don’t want to use influencers, it’s interesting that they have to be aware of their impact whether they like it or not! Thanks for reading

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  5. Interesting post, with the hostage like situation between businesses and influencers. I definitely think that the power influencers have has gone straight to their head in some cases, where demanding free food from local cafes is purely taking advantage of the size of the business. It’s definitely interesting to see how far an influencer will go to gain profit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s indeed very interesting! It’s also very interesting to see how far some are willing to go for such a small pay-off – i.e. a smashed avo and a coffee! If I were an influencer I would not be putting so much reputation on the line for so little. It’s an interesting age for the influencer!

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  6. Great post! I do believe that influencers are losing credibility and possibly causing detriment to this career/strategy as a whole. I have observed too many people are trying to be an influencer and of course positioning their brand while leveraging the fact that social media is trending right now and they are empowered because of their high level of followings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Elaine! I too believe their credibility is being lost, possibly creating a landscape for fake influencers to drop off and genuine, well-renowned ones to survive?

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  7. insane that this is the case. it has been joked about for years with the introduction of popular review sites like yelp but to think people get away with this now as you said surely has negative repercussions for the “influencer” community as a whole. at the end of the day though i don’t believe influencers provide great validation for products and places like restaurants due to the fact that they are in fact paid, however they are great for the purpose of trying to expand exposure for a company. great post

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Cam. I agree with you, while building expansive awareness I can’t see it being taken seriously by consumers as influencers are becoming less and less credible. I’m interested to see how the influencer landscape changes in the next couple of years!

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  8. Wow thanks for sharing this. I completely agree I think influencers are becoming increasingly more demanding. I understand they are trying to build a business for themselves but in an effort to create content and be perceived well from their following they are tarnishing their reputation by demanding they receive free product they are most definitely not entitled to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your insight. I agree, the following of these influencers seems to be getting to their head sometimes. While not all influencers are like this, and I don’t think a blanket statement is appropriate, it seems such events are increasingly common!

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  9. Thanks for the interesting read! That’s so bad how these people are taking advantages of small businesses! I definitely think they’re losing credibility as a whole and need to stop acting so entitled! Some Influencers earn so much money as well – they can definitely afford to buy some food from a cafe. My opinion of them has sunk even further after this. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your insight!! I’m in your boat completely. Entitlement seems to be an issue for some of these influencers, and when they’re picking on our hearty small Aussie businesses it sure makes Aussie’s blood boil! Some influencers are absolutely awesome, but others, well – I can just say impressionable consumers need to be aware of this kind of behaviour.

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  10. Interesting post! I think user-generated content is much more reliable than influencer’s content!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Demi! I agree with you, UGC is also becoming increasingly prominent with emerging channels for sharing – photo reviews, videos, all ways to social proof products to potential customers. Thanks for reading 🙂

      Like

  11. Simon Baker Butcher 30 May 2019 — 10:34 pm

    It is an interesting topic most certainly; the legality of such goings on in this new age of technology has created a Gray-area ripe for underhand dealings and general skullduggery. Perhaps this will serve as a warning to other small businesses, “keep your friends close, and your influencers at an arms length”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Influencer agreements definitely exist in a grey-area, as the age of the influencer ripens I’m sure clearer guidelines will arise for businesses to deal with influencers. Something we’ve definitely learned is to make it clear as a term to not delete the post after a few days! Thanks for reading.

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  12. That was an interesting read. I think as times passes the influencers are losing their “power” more and more. It sad but we need to realised that these influencers are not credible anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’ve summed it up perfectly! Thanks for your insight. Indeed, influencers are losing their credibility more and more. I think such a change is necessary, as being an influencer is a huge responsibility that people don’t understand the extent of. Thanks for reading 🙂

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  13. Interesting posts, I think that small influencers who uses these tactics do not deserve credibility as it is something similar to threatening someone, to pay them for eating at their own restaurant. I think that influencers who have been invited into the cafe are the more credible ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely, it seems ridiculous as influencers with 150k followers likely have enough money in the bank to pay for their own smashed avo! It’s although hard to distinguish as a consumer whether an influencer has been invited to dine at a cafe or not, making all cafe posts lose credibility for me personally. Thanks for reading 🙂

      Like

  14. As time goes by, more and more influencers will emerge, and their influence will become weaker. I believe consumers will keep their individual opinions instead of guiding by the influencer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s such a trend at the moment that could likely weaken over the next couple of years. It’ll be interesting to see if there will be some sort of influencer revolution – where more credible ones stick around and less credible drop off. Thanks for reading 🙂

      Like

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