P&G and Disneyland among Most Fooled Brands Reaching Fake Followers on Instagram


Influencer measurement company Instascreener, formerly known as Points North group recently published some data on Influencer marketing. The data touched on influencer marketing spends, budgets and its results. The data revealed that P&G and Disneyland were among the most fooled brands. According to Instascreener, these two companies have wasted their advertising budget reaching fake followers and bots.

Influencer marketing has gained a lot of popularity lately with many brands doubling their spend on influencer marketing. Brands and advertisers have almost doubled the amount they’re spending on Instagram influencer campaigns in the US and Canada since 2018. But in the past three months alone, $65m has been wasted reaching fake followers. Instascreener’s report shows that companies like P&G and Disneyland are among the advertisers which have been duped.

About Instascreeners Report

To gather this data on influencer marketing on Instagram, the measurement company measured the investment using its own spend data for non-Instagram influencer spend in addition to analysing almost every sponsored influencer posts on Instagram.  They then used AI to estimate fake followers.

According to their data, North American advertisers allocated a $478m slice of their budgets to influencers in Q3. The data revealed that Instagram took most of the budget. Instagram pooled in $340m worth of the spend (an increase of 95% on the same period last year).  The data showed that $65m was funnelled into reaching fake followers.

P&G and Disneyland among Most Fooled Brands Reaching Fake Followers on Instagram

According to Instascreeners report, P&G’s Febreze was the “most fooled” brand. The brand apparently invested in influencer campaigns that reached bots instead of people. The analysis from its sponsored Instagram posts indicated that of the accounts that had engaged with the post 54% were fake.

Another brand which was fooled was Multimedia kids’ business Baby Einstein. It came in second place with a fake follower rate of 51%, followed closely by women’s sanitary business Carefree. Disneyland, Green Chef and Zappos also made it into the top ten most duped advertiser.

&G and Disneyland among Most Fooled Brands Reaching Fake Followers on Instagram

The report also revealed the biggest spenders on influencer marketing. The crown for biggest spender went to retailer Fashion Nova who invested $9.7m on influencer campaigns in the past quarter. Controversial laxative tea brand Flat Tummy Co came in second with a spend of $5.1m. Fendi, Ancient Cosmetics and Walmart completed the top five.

&G and Disneyland among Most Fooled Brands Reaching Fake Followers on Instagram

What Instagram is doing about Fake Followers?

Instagram has been under a lot of scrutiny from advertisers about its role in helping to curb this problem. Brands like P&G’s rival Unilever have been vocal about Instagram being more accountable.

To help curb and even stop the problem, Instagram has been investing in machine learning to autodetect fake accounts. Just last year, the social media platform pledged to purge fake likes and comments. They have also been clamping down on businesses that sell fake followers to influencers. The social media platform has been working hard to clean up its platform and make it more authentic.

According to Instascreener’s data, Instagram’s measures are slowly paying off. Since May, engagement rates of influencers with the least authentic audiences have dropped from 1.7% to 1.0%. Over the same period, engagement rates of influencers with the most authentic audiences declined only slightly, from 1.7% to 1.6%.


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