Influencers have a duty to publish accurate health content

Providing accurate information is a duty of influencers and they shouldn’t be treated any differently to any other kind of publisher, the audience at Mumbrella’s Health & Wellness Summit has heard.

Speaking on a panel at the summit, Simone Landes, founder and director The Lifestyle Suite, said influencers “have to take responsibility” for the content they’re producing.

Mumbrella Health Marketing Summit 2017

Landes: We’re all adults

“We’re all adults, and we have to take responsibility for whatever our business is, so if you’re in the business of being an influencer, then you take that on board,” she said. “If I’m going to post something about a particular health situation or about a campaign, I need to arm myself with as much information as possible.”

Lewis Shields, agency lead at Touch Creative agreed: “If you’re the publisher, then you’ve got a requirement to make sure that the integrity behind what you’re publishing is accurate.

“If you look at engaging influencers, then that’s merely a different kind of publishing. You’re using them as an advertising channel, but they’re still representing your brand if you’ve engaged them to do so, so absolutely I guess the duty of responsibility sits with you.”

Health and Wellness Marketing Summit 2017 Mumbrella

Shields: That’s merely a different kind of publishing

Samara Kitchener, founder and director at House of Kitch Communications added:

“When you’re running your own channels it’s your responsibility. The information that you put on your channels and you share, it does all come back to the responsibility of the owner of the channel initially, so I think that’s a good starting point.”

Kitchener: When you’re running your own channels it’s your responsibility

The panel also touched on the issue of fake news, a topic of particular importance in the digital health content sector.

Landes said: “We’ve all got a role to play in making sure that what we put out is ethical, there have been lots of examples of people in the past misusing information.

“The first thing is about being authentic and real, and backing the information that you use.”

Shields added that social platforms are being “proactive” in their approach to discouraging fake news and click bait.

“There are a number of initiatives Facebook has put into place, so for example those companies or presences who post too frequently, they’ve changed it so you can’t amend the link titles when you’re posting an article to Facebook,” he said.

“The quality of content from these companies won’t be delivering the same commercial returns that they need to make it sustainable, so hopefully it’s where we’ll see a tipping scale over the next few months.”


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