A study from media agency UM shows that a vast majority of global internet users don’t really trust what influencers say online.
The study followed 56,000 active internet users across 81 countries, and results showed that a huge majority lack confidence in what they read and see from influencers who post content on social media.
It stated that 8 per cent of users believe information shared on social media is true, but only 4 per cent believe information shared by influencers.
In the same data, governments were seen as more trustworthy than most celebrity influencers or bloggers/vloggers, with 12 per cent of users globally considering information from governments more trustworthy.
The study attributes a lot of the caution of influencers to suspicion, as both consumers and regulators continue to ask questions about the transparency of brand-influencer deals.
Poor advertisement and influencer marketing led the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to refine influencer marketing rules. Similar actions were taken by the FTC in the United States with hopes of making sure influencers and brands are transparent about deals and sponsored content.
“[The data has] made people more aware of issues surrounding credibility and transparency on the internet," said Head of client Insight EMEA for UM, Liz Haas.
"Legislation like the EU’s GDPR is working towards rebuilding that trust, particularly regarding what is done with our personal data, but brands will also have a key role to play over the coming years.
"It’s clear that trust is fast becoming the currency of the new internet, and brands able to demonstrate that they’re transparent and responsible in the moments that matter are going to be best placed to succeed.”
Conversations like this are sure to continue over time, with more action possibly being taken by organisations worldwide who are concerned about the ethics of influencer marketing.