Instagram’s Medical Influencers Can Be Harmful to Your Health

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Influencer marketing is often called one of the most popular marketing tools. However, the emergence of “medical influencers” can harm our health.

Influencers on Instagram market drugs and medical devices for pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Most remarkable: they do not always clearly indicate that they are paid for their mentions

These mentions of medical influencers give their millions of followers the suggestion that they could be as healthy and beautiful as influencers, if they use these products.

Depending on the size of their subscribers, influencers are paid about $ 1,000 per 100,000 subscribers. Instead of print or broadcast ads, companies believe they can benefit from the openness and storytelling of influencer feeds.

Obviously, it’s time to take a closer look at what influencers peddle and how.

Who regulates medical influencers? You are!

More importantly, regulation does not happen exactly, explains Suzanne Zuppello, in a recent article by Vox. The FTA and the FTC rely on consumers to report non-compliant ads, according to the FTC Advertising Practices Division.

“Using influencers to sell products to the sick can be a particularly insidious form of marketing largely due to the vague parameters defined by the FTC and FDA,” says Zuppello. After all, most consumers are certainly not experts in federal advertising guidelines. We don’t have to be either!

An influencer, who is paid by a variety of brands outside of healthcare and preferred not to be appointed because of existing partnerships, told Zuppello that some influencers “bury the tag #sponsored deep in the copy or shorten it in #spon, despite the FTC’s guideline for disclosures to be “clear and visible”. Here is an example where sponsorship is not mentioned by a medical influencer:

In this example, the terms “sponsored” #Sponsored #Spon are not mentioned

Consequences? Not really.

Although the FDA and FTC are regulatory bodies, they do not fully follow their own guidelines, as they do not have the resources to consult millions of publications to determine which advertisements are paid and whether they comply.

Also frightening: there are no real or immediate consequences for influencers who omit the information required by regulatory agencies, especially since each article is not reviewed. And even when non-conforming articles are cited, it is the business, not the influencers, that is held accountable.

Important to remember: influencing is the work of paid influencers to perform. Think before you click.

Originally posted 2020-06-06 01:17:34.

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