Jules Lund hits out at ‘lazy journalists’ and says influencers have ‘more integrity’ than mass media

Jules Lund, media personality and founder of influencer platform Tribe, has swung out at “lazy journalists” who stereotype and sensationalise influencers.

“The only time I see unappealing influencers is in articles where lazy journalists have just picked photos trying to make out like every influencer looks like a Kardashian,” Lund said in the two-minute video posted to LinkedIn, which he “may regret” posting.

“And the hypocrisy. You know why they use sensationalist images and dramatic headlines, these journos? For engagement. For clickbait. To be shared, to be liked. Exactly what they’re accusing these influencers of caring about.”

Lund’s self-described “rant” was in response to an article from UK journalist Tom Hoggins, titled ‘Sorry, but Instagram hiding ‘likes’ won’t end annoying influencer posts‘.

“It’s like me subscribing to this journalist’s weekly newsletter and then abusing him for being in my inbox, or walking into a cafe with my family and then just sitting amongst a group of teenagers listening and then just going ’Can you guys shut up?’ You know what it comes down to? Insecurity. There was a time when authors found journalists annoying. And when journalists found bloggers annoying. And when bloggers found influencers annoying. Just be happy for people.

“These influencers are creatively expressing their passions and expertise to people who follow them. Likeminded, enjoy their content. There’s more integrity in that than most of the mass media channels combined, and trust me, I’ve worked for most of them.

“I can’t even have my daughters watch the news because of disaster porn, or watch reality TV because it’s putrid. Yeah, like a girl promoting her favourite cold-pressed juice is gonna ruin culture. Take a look in the mirror.”

Instagram removed likes for Australian users yesterday, in a move Lund agrees with, saying that likes are “an unnecessary scorecard”.

“[Influencers are] still being assessed, judged, and scored, it’s just that other people aren’t seeing the vote,” he said.

Lund: ‘Just be happy for people’

“An influencer’s value is based on the amount of engagement they can create around their eye-catching content. They only need to prove that value to the brands. This doesn’t change that whatsoever. All this changes is they are no longer proving the return on investment to other influencers or other users, keeping in mind that those users don’t care about that anyway.”

He went on to say that likes are “one of the most insignificant of all metrics”.

“The real metrics sit behind the surface. And those metrics are impressions, it also breaks down not just who liked it or who was impressed, but it shows their age, their gender and their location,” he explained.

“Now all of these rich insights is what a brand wants. Just getting some likes isn’t what they’re paying for.”

Lund launched Tribe in 2015 as a way to connect brands with influencers who already use their products. The result is a platform that allows companies like Facebook, Unilever and Mars to post a brief for influencers, who buy the product (if they don’t already own it), create the content and upload it for consideration, competing with other submissions. The content creator sets the price, Tribe adds a 30% service fee, and if the brand likes the content, it buys it. There’s no obligation for brands to approve (and therefore pay for) any of the hundreds of submissions influencers send in.

Tribe says more than $250,000 worth of branded content is generated per day by its network of 50,000 influencers, translating into 20,000 pieces of content per month.

In March, Tribe launched into the US off the back of a $10.5m capital raise, and in May, former Unilever CEO Keith Weed joined as an investor.


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