Author: Samantha

Campaigns are paying for political influencers by skipping rules, an analysis says

Campaigns are paying for political influencers by skipping rules, an analysis says

Campaigns Skirt Political Ad Rules by Paying Influencers Instead

Campaigns are paying their way into social and political influencer spaces by skipping rules that would prohibit them from doing so, according to an analysis from the Center for Public Integrity.

It was reported Thursday that the Trump campaign has signed a dozen political and social influencer contracts, most of which bypass the campaign’s regular social media strategy that uses paid Facebook ads to reach its audience.

“When you have a campaign that’s paying for all of this, then people are going to do what a campaign is going to do,” said John Sides, a former director-at-large of Facebook and now a senior fellow at the Center for Public Integrity.

“They’re paying for all the ads. They have a budget and they just say, ‘Let’s take these ads and do this,’” Sides said.

Campaigns are paying for many influencer projects that have little or nothing to do with politics and that involve a mix of influencers as well as actors, Sides said.

The contracts have been in effect for a few months and have drawn criticism from candidates like Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Sen. Kamala Harris, whose campaigns have also been paying influencers for political ads. The Feinstein campaign paid $25,000 for a six-figure influencer campaign and was told that she would have to sign a contract as a condition of getting the money.

A similar contract she was required to sign was used by the Harris campaign when they started paying actors to promote them on YouTube.

The contracts have also prompted a backlash from the digital campaigns themselves. The campaigns are using an older set of influencer contracts and the influencers may not be properly vetted in advance or have proper permissions and legal disclaimers in place, Sides said.

Influencers have told the Center that there are no rules governing them, the companies that buy their services or even the campaign they’re paid for, so campaigns are free to choose whom they want to hire

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