Arvind Hickman
Aug 21, 2018

Australia bans use of influencers in government campaigns after 'offensive' posts

Public pressure built up after creators fronting government-funded campaigns were found to have also promoted alcohol brands and diet pills, and made rape jokes and homophobic remarks.

Alen Catak (right): The YouTuber otherwise known as Champ promoted the Air Force
Alen Catak (right): The YouTuber otherwise known as Champ promoted the Air Force

The Australian government has banned the use of influencers from all federal government campaigns after a series of embarrassing exposés involving taxpayer-funded social media stars.

The government was forced to review influencer marketing after talent fronting government campaigns were found to also promote alcohol brands and diet pills, and had made rape jokes and homophobic remarks, on social media.

"The government has recently reviewed the use of social media influencers and determined that they will not be used in future campaigns," assistant minister for finance David Coleman told Sydney tabloid The Daily Telegraph.

The issue highlights the importance of a thorough vetting process to ensure talent aligns with an organisation’s values.

Pressure had mounted on the government for weeks after revelations showed the Health Department exercised poor due diligence in spending $600,000 on influencers in the past 18 months.

Instagram stars were paid thousands to front the 'Girls Make You Move' campaign, an Australian version of Sport England's 'This Girl Can'.

Some influencers that were paid to promote a healthy active lifestyle by the government were also promoting alcohol brands and "performance enhancing" supplements, such as weight-loss pills, to their followers.

Health minister Greg Hunt found the Instagram posts "offensive" and ordered a review.

The Australian Defence Force was also rapped for spending $52,500 on YouTube gaming stars Alen Catak, aka Champ, and Elliott Watkins, to promote the Air Force to teenagers.

The department was slammed by defence minister Marise Payne after it emerged Catak has previously made rape jokes online, called women "sluts" and "whores", and used homophobic and anti-Semitic slurs.

Watkins had previously laughed at references to rape and used flippant references to "cancer" in his videos.

Source:
PRWeek

Related Articles

Just Published

1 hour ago

Coles CMO Lisa Ronson departs

The marketer announced she will leave by the late September. The news comes just one week ahead of Coles delivering its full financial results for 2022.

5 hours ago

How Western commerce platforms increasingly look to ...

SHANGHAI ZHAN PODCAST: Western commerce platforms such as Amazon remain distinctive, but are taking on more characteristics from their Chinese counterparts, says Victoria Glanz, who runs European operations for Chinese commerce company Fulljet.

5 hours ago

The many misunderstandings of using AI in creative work

SPIKES ASIA ACADEMY: The head of creative tech at Publicis says AI won't replace anyone in the industry anytime soon, but can be an incredible help to creatives.

5 hours ago

Asia-Pacific Power List 2022: Mits Minowa, Allbirds

The former Red Bull and Nike marketer is leading a sustainable brand out of its D2C origins and onto the global stage by launching new campaigns and entering new categories.