Fake followers are hard to shake, according to new report

February 06, 2019

Unilever's effort to rid itself of influencers with fake followers hasn't made much difference, at least for its Dove brand, according to a new report. And despite the industry's concern about fakes, the report, from analytics firm Points North Group, says spending on influencers continues to snowball.

Unilever Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Keith Weed said in June that the company would stop working with influencers who buy fake followers. But despite that, Points North estimates that 25 percent of the followers for Instagram influencers working with Dove last year were fake, ahead of the industry average of 14 percent. Dove's fake ratio fell only slightlyto 23 percent by the fourth quarter.

Weed declined to comment on the analysis, saying he hadn't had a chance yet to review it. But he says Unilever will take another look at Dove's influencers and their followers. He also says he believes both the company and broader marketplace are making progress, with social platforms including Twitter and Facebook eliminating a combined 1.6 billion fake accounts in recent months.

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