Unilever launches campaign aimed at fake followers to boost transparency

Unilever has launched a campaign against fake followers in a bid to boost transparency in the murky world of product influencers. (AFP)
Updated 19 June 2018
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Unilever launches campaign aimed at fake followers to boost transparency

LONDON: Unilever has launched a campaign against fake followers in a bid to boost transparency in the murky world of product influencers.
The world’s second largest advertiser announced the cutting of ties with influencers who buy followers, a practice thought to be widespread in the Gulf.
With $7 billion in marketing and brand investment at its disposal, its stand against influencers purchasing followers could have a big impact on media buying in the Middle East.
Unilever Chief Marketing Officer Keith Weed said: “We need to take urgent action now to rebuild trust before it’s gone forever.”
He said this would be done through cleaning up the influencer ecosystem by removing misleading engagement; making brands and
influencers more aware of the use of dishonest practices and improving transparency from social platforms to help brands measure impact.
Buying influencers has become commonplace, with about one in four influencers in the region making use of bots, Natasha Hatherall-Shawe, founder and managing director of TishTash Marketing & Public Relations, told Arab News in March.
“It’s pretty obvious who’s using these bots — log on to Instagram at 3 a.m. and you can see accounts very active at this time, and I don’t think it’s a case of insomnia,” she said.
At this year’s Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, Keith Weed will also convene a group to include the World Federation of Advertisers, Instagram and Richard Edelman with the aim of increasing transparency and integrity in the influencer space.
The announcement comes as both Unilever and Procter & Gamble audit their advertising spend and their relationships with agencies.
Peter Storck, co-founder of influencer marketing measurement firm Points North Group, told Reuters that all of the companies he has analyzed have fallen prey to bots, including Unilever.
Besides misleading consumers, he said that bots waste money, since brands are spending to reach non-existent consumers.


Arab News women driving cover wins further recognition in DNA Paris Design Awards

Updated 23 May 2019
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Arab News women driving cover wins further recognition in DNA Paris Design Awards

  • Arab News scooped the awards for its front page by “New Yorker” illustrator Malika Favre, which was published to mark the move to allow women in Saudi Arabia to drive
  • It has won numerous awards since its publication and been one of the most retweeted artworks celebrating women driving in the Kingdom

LONDON: Arab News has continued its success on the international awards stage by winning two honorable mentions at the DNA Paris Design Awards.

The newspaper scooped the awards for its front page by “New Yorker” illustrator Malika Favre, which was published to mark the move to allow women in Saudi Arabia to drive.

The honorable mentions were for the categories “Graphic design - Editorial” and “Graphic design - Key art (Posters, covers, illustration).”

"For Arab News to be recognised again on a global scale with this award is a great honor," Simon Khalil, global creative director at Arab News, said. “Our women drivers cover has been recognised with eight design awards so far and this highlights just how important this moment in history was for women across the Kingdom.

 “Malika Favre was the obvious choice for our cover, and her illustration brilliantly captures the significance of this moment on the day Saudi Arabia changed forever."

The illustration was commissioned by Arab News for the cover of a special souvenir edition on June 24 of last year. It has become one of the most retweeted artworks celebrating women driving in the Kingdom.

The cover has won numerous awards since it was published. In March, it was recognized by SND awards, one of the most prestigious in the industry.

In February, the cover image was recognized in the international design awards run by “HOW” magazine.

The DNA Paris Design Awards honors international architects and designers “who improve our daily lives through practical, beautiful and innovative design,” according to its website.