Is Inf!#*cer the Dirtiest Word in Marketing?

June 20, 2018

by Ryan Brown

On the second day of the Cannes International Festival of Creativity, an elite group turned up to Clear Channel (client) Marquee at Le Grand Hotel to share an in-depth conversation about the state of Influencer Marketing. The panel was led by Ryan Brown of FleishmanHillard with key contribution from Mark Brownie, Executive Director of Commercial Strategy at Storyful, Val Vargas, SVP of Marketing and Creative Services at AT&T (client) who manages Hello Lab—an AT&T creators network specializing in brand influence—and FleishmanHillard’s own Lauren Winter, SVP, brand marketing, EMEA.

Panelists (L-R): Val Vargas, Lauren Winter, Ryan Brown, Mark Brownie

Key points in this discussion, beyond the general acknowledgment of a marketing practice rife with bad actors, were that engagement is softening with savvy consumers, brand quality is on decline, creator-centric micro-communities possess promise and cynicism resulting from corruption and the fake is tarnishing the practice on a whole. These themes coincided with big news from the festival proving their relevance as Unilever’s CMO, Keith Weed, called for urgent action to tackle influencer fraud. This very topic was at the heart of discussion, as AT&T, FH and Storyful shared their perspectives and innovation towards a more truthful and sophisticated approach.