4th September | Rob Waldon back

The flight of the influencer… nothing to declare?  

Social media is like the ultimate freedom of speech platform. Without making it sound like a mythical video game or some kind of futuristic zoo, there are trolls, catfish, keyboard warriors and ghost followers… all sharing their opinion on anything and everything. For the right or wrong reasons, social channels present the opportunity for everyone – you and I, and celebrities alike – to share their views on the news, given an insight into what they’re up to, and shout about the products/services they’re using. So, when it comes to a brand endorsement, the rise of social media presented a genuine platform for everyone, giving celebrities and influencers more control to align themselves with the things they love. The move instigated a new wave of brand fandom, a step away from glossy ad photoshoots and television campaigns that seemed to force a celebrity’s face on their product in a clear financial endorsement.  But while social media can present a genuine opportunity for authentic brand synergy (in fact, it’s the topic of our last blog post, Love at First Swipe), news broke recently that some of Britain’s biggest household names are misleading their followers. The Competition and Markets Authority launched a major investigation (it’s on the Government website, so you know it’s pretty serious) after finding evidence that posts by “influencers” may be endorsing goods or services without declaring they are being paid to do so. Basically, on face value, followers are being duped into thinking these posts are the real opinion of the poster, and not carefully crafted captions from a copywriting genius. Not cool. Not cool for the brand, not cool for the influencers involved and certainly not cool for trusting followers.   What does it all meme? The social space is becoming more crowded than the northern line in rush hour (I would kn0w). And in certain cases, #ad is being crammed in a bit too much like an armpit in the face… and just like that, it’s being noticed. People have been taking the pi- parodying the notion of influencers for a while now. Whether that’s with KFC clean eating campaign, with fictional Figgy Poppleton-Rice co-create a KFC clean cauliflower burger, or ‘Deliciously Stella’ (lol I laugh every time), developed by comedian Bella Younger who full-on satirised clean eating and wellbeing trends. (My personal fave was when she ‘oil pulled’ with Bounty spread during the coconut oil craze). Stella was such a hit in her prime that I’m pretty sure she even ended up doing some brand collaborations… I definitely saw #AD once or twice. Or, maybe that was ironic? There’s also ‘Blogger-off‘ who describes herself as the ANTI-INFLUENCER. Her posts are centred on existing #ad content, and recreating them in a comedic way, in order to show just how forced these posts can be. And apparently, now it’s meme accounts that are the way forward… that’s according to the latest campaign for Hayu streaming service which used meme accounts to amplify the latest series of KUWTK. With the rise of meme accounts posting more and more branded content (like the below example from ‘Bros Being Basic’), is it a matter of time before this avenue becomes too saturated, too? Plus, these accounts are not typically run by professionals. Maybe that makes it more genuine, or perhaps that means there’s less control for brands.  The real trick is to carefully scope out influencers for authentic collaborations, remembering that it’s their audience you’re communicating with. That’s what we do at R&T. By building up a close and genuine rapport with key influencers, we’re know what will work on different people’s platforms: we recognise if it’s true to their aesthetic and above all, relevant to their followers. It’s important to keep that in mind and not fall into the trap of producing lovely pictures, but ones which no one really cares about. Remember: social media was created to be a two way street, not another push-advertising platform. Beautiful content is beautiful, but at the end of the day will their followers want to see it if it doesn’t feel natural? My guess is: probably not.

14th October | Matt de Leon
Climate Change, Sustainability and Our Role In It

I’ve always worked in consumer PR and have been lucky enough to work with some of the world’s best brands, from Coca-Cola, Reebok and Samsung, to Shell, Ford and Estrella Damm. And I’ve worked with those brands in environments that many could only dream of, including the Olympic Games, UEFA… Read more

24th September | Richmond & Towers
Confused by media? For the uninitiated it’s about…

Ok, so pre-Covid it was clear that digital was king, print was on the way out, and Joe Wicks was among the UK’s most influential sources for advice on health. Read more

24th September | Anouska Leon
Celebrating Talent and Nurturing Careers – Richmond &…

Running a London PR & digital agency is a competitive business, and the one thing that keeps Richmond & Towers ahead of the rest, and makes us what we are, is our people. So, we’re thrilled to announce promotions to: Read more

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24th April | Rob Waldon back

What we can take from Balance Magazine’s #Wellness100

Balance Magazine has just released the #Wellness100 and if you haven’t heard what that is, you’re about to find out. The Wellness 100 is a roundup of some of the most inspiring individuals in society, each of whom have contributed towards making the world a happier, healthier and more pleasant place. Isn’t that pretty great?! Here’s what we can all take from it… Who’s on it? A mix of influencers, disruptors, entrepreneurs, icons, futurists, activists and game changers.  Among the expected global icons: Oprah, Barack Obama, Ellen Degeneres and Ru Paul, all of whom have undoubtedly inspired new ways of thinking and provoked positive change, there are a few less ‘famous’ but no less deserving names. For me, these are the true stars of the list that everyone should know about, and they include an Instagrammer turned charity campaign co-founder, a GP with a passion and belief in the healing power of food, an architect advocating the environment and a journalist telling her own story. Clerkenwell Boy – not just chosen because he’s our Clerkenwell neighbour. This anonymous foodie Instagrammer has harnessed his platform, talent and passion for cuisine to communicate a new, philanthropic message to his following – setting up #CookForSyria. Starting life as a simple supper club, where a group of foodie friends came together to celebrate Syrian cuisine, the campaign has developed as a fundraiser to help Unicef protect Syrian children. The initiative has won the support of top chefs from around the world. A bestselling cookbook, and global events later, #CookForSYRIA has become a powerful movement born out of Clerkenwell Boy’s passion for food, a solid following and a dedicated idea. Dr Rupy Aujla – the GP behind the successful ‘The Doctor’s Kitchen’.  With the firm belief that the power of food and lifestyle change can be like a medicine, Dr Rupy uses his influence to communicate the health benefits of eating well – with clinically proven research to back up the claims along the way. We recently teamed up with Dr Rupy on a great campaign for our client, Great British Apples – #GoodnessToGo. With coverage placed in top titles like Hello! Magazine, Fit & Well, Coach Magazine as well as exposure across social media, we’ve been able to share The Doctor’s Kitchen story whilst cultivating our campaign messaging. Emily Penn – from studying Architecture to becoming an ‘oceans advocate’ on a mission against plastic. Emily highlights the devastating environmental impact the residue has, with the goal to inspire change. Her next mission? Emily and a team are setting off for a five-week trip across the North Pacific Gyre to explore the link between micro-plastics and health – both human and environmental. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more on this as it develops; as the backlash against plastic booms, it will be interesting to see how brands and industry react. Given the topical nature of this crusade, I’m excited to be part of the R&T team working on the new Beyond the Box campaign – promoting the benefits of corrugated cardboard on behalf of our client CPI. Poorna Bell – former UK Executive Editor and Global Lifestyle Head of HuffPost, Poorna is the kind of journalist that everyone wants to feature their story. In my opinion, the most impactful story I’ve read from Poorna came in the form of a very personal one she shares about the loss of her husband. The story opens up conversation about a serious topic – heroin addiction, highlighting the shocking reality of a functioning addict. It’s been featured across the BBC, The Times and The Telegraph, but for me, one of the most poignant features was an article Poorna wrote for the April issue of Cosmopolitan. I thought it was incredibly real of the publication to share this story with their audience – I certainly wasn’t expecting to come across such an article when I was flicking through the glossy pages, but it opened my mind massively. Well worth a read, these articles fully challenge your perceptions so it’s a credit that Poorna’s candid nature and ability to talk openly has been acknowledged within the Wellness 100 list. So, that’s four people down, only 96 to go. Check out the full list here, see if there’s any unfamiliar names and learn all about their world.  

14th October | Matt de Leon
Climate Change, Sustainability and Our Role In It

I’ve always worked in consumer PR and have been lucky enough to work with some of the world’s best brands, from Coca-Cola, Reebok and Samsung, to Shell, Ford and Estrella Damm. And I’ve worked with those brands in environments that many could only dream of, including the Olympic Games, UEFA… Read more

24th September | Richmond & Towers
Confused by media? For the uninitiated it’s about…

Ok, so pre-Covid it was clear that digital was king, print was on the way out, and Joe Wicks was among the UK’s most influential sources for advice on health. Read more

24th September | Anouska Leon
Celebrating Talent and Nurturing Careers – Richmond &…

Running a London PR & digital agency is a competitive business, and the one thing that keeps Richmond & Towers ahead of the rest, and makes us what we are, is our people. So, we’re thrilled to announce promotions to: Read more

Load more
See our latest work
Visit our portfolio
Read our latest news
Visit all latest news