• I want to comment on an article that was in Glossy, said, "The future of influencer marketing depends on fighting fraud." Look, that's a fun headline to write. We were the first company in the world to come out with a product that would verify that an influencer's following was authentic and real, and that they hadn't bought followers. We were the first people to do that maybe four, five years ago.
    When we launched it, every publication that reached out that wanted to write an article, they wanted us to out influencers that had bought followers. They wanted the story about how prevalent this is. They want to write about the big spooky monster in the corner that you need to be afraid of. That is what drives clicks. The reality of it was that buying followers was not nearly as prevalent as people thought it was.
    While writing articles like this, like the future of this industry depends on fighting fraud. I mean, fraud is prevalent everywhere, but in advertising especially so. I mean, how many bots are there out there replaying videos over and over again, so that we can get the video accounts up? How many bots are out there clicking on ads, loading websites so that we can get impressions? Ad fraud is a problem across the board. It is a problem in the influencer space, but it is a much smaller problem than people let on, and of course, you should come to Fohr as a client, and work with us to work with influencers who we have verified as having authentic followers.
    Look, a lot of our competitors have copied us ruthlessly and created their own ways of verifying people, and if you don't want to work with us, you should work with one of them. If not that, you should learn a few tricks to figure out whether or not somebody's following is authentic or not, and decrease your reliance on engagement. One, because it's rapidly leaving the platform, but two, because it doesn't tell you a good story, and engagement is easier to buy than followers are.
    I do not think that buying followers is an existential threat to the industry, though it is important to have ways to validate that the people you work with are real, and for brands to know that the money that they're being spent is being spent effectively. We definitely need to protect ourselves and give ourselves that confidence when we're spending hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars, but I wouldn't buy too much into articles saying the end is near because they're just looking for clicks. With that, I bid you all adieu, and we will see you next week.
    Episode #182
    - How FTC helps influencers, product focus groups, faking engagement