Virtual influencers should follow the same rules as human influencers

New Ideas in MarketingEssential news for marketers, summarised by YouGov
October 01, 2019, 5:10 PM UTC

Despite being CGI characters, advertising rules for them remain the same

Implementing virtual influencers for marketing campaigns can help brands post consistent content and appeal to young consumers without uncertainty. Virtual influencers are more reliable than their human counterparts, but they lack authenticity due to their lack of actual representation of the product.

To avoid legal action and negative attention, brands should treat their virtual influencers as human influencers. This article says that marketers should disclose their policies about virtual influencers to pre-empt any negative publicity until the FTC puts in explicit rules for virtual influencers.

A lack of formal FTC guideline can also encourage riskier brands from disclosing their partnerships, damaging the credibility of influencer marketing. Anna Gilligan, senior strategist at agency T3, argues that virtual influencers can be more authentic, as audiences are savvy enough to recognise them as brand advertisements.

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[7 minute read]