Australia’s most popular beauty influencer, Chloe Morello, has attacked beauty influencers who are “committing fraud” by buying fake followers and garnering false ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ on Instagram.
Speaking in a 17-minute video posted on YouTube last week, Morello, who has more than 2.3 million subscribers on her channel and around one million followers on Instagram, said the fake influencers were behaving fraudulently to garner products, overseas trips and income from beauty companies.
Readily acknowledging that it was understandable that “so many people” want to be an influencer as they “get paid to promote products, get sent away on trips, get to go to really cool events and get gifted so much cool stuff”, Morello said it was still wrong to create false accounts.
Morello, who started her online career in 2008, said her complaints about fake influencers were targeted at the Australian beauty industry which was investing “so much money and products” in fake influencers.
“I am mostly hoping the Australian beauty industry will see it [her YouTube video] and hopefully it will just clue them in on some of the stuff that is happening, she said.
“Brands are paying thousands of dollars for posts with these people (and at the end of the day the brand is investing their money to sell product) … but some of these people don’t have a real following …”
Morello stressed that fake influencers should not be dismissed as “harmless” as many beauty brands are fooled into believing the accounts are real and invest in them.
“They think if we advertise our product on this person’s Instagram we’re going to generate sales… but the brand is paying for nothing (fake followers, fake likes, fake comments),” she said.
“The second a brand invests their ad dollars or gives opportunities (eg, free trips and events) or products to one of these fake influencers it is fraud – the brand is not going to get anything out of it.”
On a more positive note, Morello said beauty brands and PR companies are beginning to “cotton on” to fake accounts.
“I’m not the only person who knows about this.”
She concluded the video by advising fake influencers to close their accounts and start again.
“If you are an influencer that has been doing this and has been committing fraud my advice is your only form of recourse would be to start a new account – just tell everyone else you got hacked and start again.”