Inmar Intelligence | July 26, 2018

Inmar's Collective Bias Takes a Stand Against Influencer Marketing Fraud

Today, Collective Bias, Inc., the leader in influencer marketing, and an Inmar company, announced the company's stand against influencer marketing fraud through implementing various safeguards to guarantee that all influencer content abides by brand guidelines and drives authentic results.

In 2015, Collective Bias was the first influencer marketing company to deliver verified, server-based traffic data and the ability to integrate any third-party traffic verification providers. Since then, brands have used this capability to verify delivery themselves, using their own third-party tags on Collective Bias content. But, unlike the open web where it is possible to employ third-party verification providers like Integral Ad Science, and DoubleVerify, there is no MRC-accredited verification of native social posts, be it Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat.

"As demand for influencers on platforms like Instagram has skyrocketed, so has the rise of bad actors and inappropriate schemes that often create undue risk for a brand," said David Mounts, CEO, Inmar | Collective Bias. "We recognize that the steps we've taken in the past weren't enough, and that is why we are charting a new path for what brands should expect, and how influencers should act."

Collective Bias has launched:

A Brand Safety Guarantee which includes:

  • Third-party Verification — Using Moat, Collective Bias will provide third-party verified analytics on all blog content views and ad impressions to ensure a campaign is delivering valid traffic.
  • Certification — Collective Bias will certify that the content adheres to FTC guidelines, brand guidelines set by the customers, and all content and ads are in a brand-safe environment.
  • 12-Hour Take-down Guarantee — If an influencer violates agreed upon rules after content is published, or external events require a brand to pause active campaigns, Collective Bias guarantees that the content will be taken down within 12 hours.

A Modified Payment Model for Instagram

By paying a flat fee based on follower count, brands are over-exposed to inappropriate actions to manipulate follower counts. Using followers as a currency on which to transact needs to end, and therefore Collective Bias is piloting a program whereby customers are only charged for Instagram posts that are viewed, based on Instagram-validated delivery data.

New Standards and Update to Code of Ethics for Collective Bias Influencers:

  • Influencers shall not incentivize users to follow their handle or engage with their content in any way that generates inauthentic activity.
  • Influencers shall not purchase followers.
  • Influencers shall not employ tactics or services, such as click farms, that artificially generate traffic.
  • If any sponsored content violates guidelines or other external events that would require a brand to pause active campaigns, influencers are required to take down content within 12 hours of being notified by Collective Bias.
  • Violations will result in suspension from applying to any campaigns for up to 90 days or permanent membership termination.
  • The full version of our Code of Ethics can be found here.

"We consider these important steps in the fight against influencer fraud, but it will probably not be the last time the issue needs to be addressed," said Ali Mirian, Inmar's Sr. Vice President, Consumer and Influencer Solutions. "Inmar, Collective Bias's parent company, has built a strong, 38-year reputation for success through integrity and transparency. We are proud to build on this tradition in influencer marketing, and we hope to bring trust back to Influencer Marketing."

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