Tiger Woods was once ‘squeaky clean’, so protect yourself with influencers: Vidcon’s GM

Jim Louderback’s brother is a lawyer who wrote the contract for Tiger Woods, and the lessons from the golfer’s downfall are ones brands should take heed of when working with influencers, Vidcon’s senior vice president and general manager told the audience at Mumbrella360.

Vidcon is an annual event which connects influencers, fans, and brands, so Louderback was quick to acknowledge that when influencers’ past transgressions are dug up – such as racist comments by beauty YouTubers Jeffree Star and Laura Lee – it poses a serious brand safety risk that should be mitigated with research and watertight contracts.

Louderback speaking on the first day of Mumbrella360

And he did so by emphasising why, in the case of Woods, a good contract made all the difference for his brother’s company, Procter & Gamble.

“Back then, Tiger Woods was squeaky clean, a family guy, everything was great. But [my brother] put a morals clause in anyway, in the contract,” Louderback said.

“Tiger Woods got caught doing things he shouldn’t have done. The morals clause went into effect.

“Protect yourself. Do your research, do your homework, and know that you’re never gonna know it all, and protect yourself.”

He explained how brands can spot influencers who are buying subscribers or views, but claimed that, above all, brands need to separate influencers from creators and understand the distinction.

“Influencers don’t care about you or your brand, but creators could be the best thing that ever happened to you and your brand if you work with them in the right way,” Louderback said.

“If you can harness the passion and engagement of these creators and attach it to your brand in an authentic way, you can drive amazing, amazing results.”

Examples of influencers to steer clear of, he said, were PewDiePie, who has 96m YouTube subscribers but is an alleged white supremacist, with a petition demanding he be removed from the platform garnering close to 100,000 signatures. And Logan Paul, the 10th highest paid YouTube star, who drew headlines when he posted a video featuring an apparent suicide victim hanging from a tree. These influencers, Louderback said, will bring you numbers. They might even deliver viral results. But they won’t deliver the impact creators do.

“Do you really want to have somebody like this representing your business?” he asked, referring to Logan Paul.

“Someone like this who, yes, will get you in front of a lot of people, but then things might happen that you don’t want to see happen. You don’t want your brand associated with it.”

Big audiences don’t matter like engaged audiences do, argued Louderback. The key is finding people you can build long-term partnerships with.

“Creators drive real connections,” he said.

“If you pair them up right, they care as deeply as your success as their own.”


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