#Fakefans - three issues raised by Channel 4 Dispatches

#Fakefans - three issues raised by Channel 4 Dispatches

Did you see Channel4 Dispatches on Monday (5 August)? "Celebs, brands and fake fans" took a look at the business of creating popularity for products on social media.  It showed how celebrities get given stuff on the basis that they will Tweet about it and how there are 'farms' of people creating fake profiles so that they can 'like' products.  (Goodness knows how they remember all the passwords.)

I was watching and following on Twitter too (there's a name for that I think....).  Anyway, this is what struck me and I wondered if you watched it, or catch it on 4OD, what struck you?  My thoughts:

    • Is this PR? The show kept referring to PR but actually all the regulations that were quoted were to do with advertising. A few people on Twitter made the good point that it isn't PR but I would guess most viewers went away with the impression that it was - perhaps the CIPR can comment?
    • Should we be educating kids to understand PR, marketing, advertising etc so that they know how and when they are being influenced? I think most kids are pretty savvy about advertising these days, but sometimes influence is a lot more subtle than that.
    • Do celebs get taxed on what they are given? When I worked as a journalist - quite a while ago now - there was talk of how we would be taxed on everything we were provided with to review/write about - even on the newspapers that came into the newsroom each day and we had to read for our job. Not sure what happened about this in the end but if journalists are taxed -  are celebs? (And bloggers etc.). Be interested to hear from anyone who knows the score on this.

For me, a lot of what the show was saying doesn't come as a surprise but it does raise issues - be good to hear your take on it. Let us know what you think.