A Democratic Super PAC posted a sponsorship opportunity on a dedicated website AspireIQ where brands seek influencers to promote their goods and services. The team behind the social media campaign offered bloggers and influencers $110-$250 per post in support of Cory Booker as a candidate for the presidency. Amanda Johnson, a 23-year-old microblogger that runs a small blog and Instagram account devoted to lifestyle and fashion, told the BuzzFeed news.
Amanda was approached with the political sponsorship opportunity to support 2020 presidential candidate Cory Booker in exchange for remuneration.
“I was intrigued…I didn’t know how to feel about it at first. But it felt off to me originally because it doesn’t seem like something politicians maybe should use,” she said.
The campaign that was ultimately removed by AspireIQ inspired hot discussions within the influencer’s community, However, the overwhelming majority did not feel right about posting anything political for money and said that politics, like religion, should be off-limits for paid ads.
Influencers raised several concerns about the new trend in political media campaigns. Thus, many of them are worried about the far-reaching consequences of such paid promotions.
“If someone tries a face cream, it’s like $20. If they vote for this person, and they don’t even know what they stand for, and now this person becomes president, and now they’re being elected off of ‘Oh, they told me to vote for this person, that’s why…’ That’s why it doesn’t make me feel good,” Jonson said.
The impact is much greater, and no one wants to take responsibility for the choices people make.
Apart from that, content creators risk sowing discord within their community and lose their followers and subscribers if they start pushing some political agenda on their readers.
The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently published recommendations on partnership disclosures; however, many influencers ignore the requirements and do not label their posts as sponsored. The chances are that these bad practices may be applied to politically motivated content, which makes the whole thing even more questionable from the ethics point of view.