Infleuncers paid to plug degrees they've never even taken

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Napp
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#1
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Whilst attracting students is obviously a bit of a cutthroat industry (now more than ever) this shabby bit of deception seems a bit below the belt. Not to mention being carried out in such a half assed way as to be risible.
I mean ARU paying a bikini model to tout their courses, really? Then again, if it works it works i guess. Its just a bit of a shame that universities now apparently have to rely on deceit to get students to try and pick them - although if a potential student is picking universities because some nobody insta 'influencer' is hawking it then there seems to be a much deeper problem at foot :lol:



With millions of pounds in tuition fees at stake every year, it was perhaps inevitable that universities would become more creative in attracting students.However, the inventiveness of some university marketing teams has led to concerns that would-be undergraduates are being sold an experience that is not always what it seems.With thousands of places to fill this summer, Anglia Ruskin University in East Anglia decided to pay graduates to tell others on social media about the wonderful time they had as a student. There was one problem: none had actually attended the university.Mari Alonso, a lifestyle and travel blogger, was paid to tell her 82,000 followers on Instagram to “change your life” by studying at Anglia Ruskin.Ms Alonso, who often posts pictures of herself in bikinis, wrote: “I’m not sure if you guys know, but I graduated as Engineer 6 years ago. It was such a long journey, but so worthy! It contributed a lot to the person who I became today. Also, it gave me incredible skills that are gonna stay with me forever! No one can ever take the knowledge that I received from my graduation away from me. Now if you think it’s your time, there are still spaces to apply in Clearing at ARU [Anglia Ruskin University]! Just go for it! It’s time to change your life! If not now, when?”Ms Alonso failed to mention that she had never stepped foot in Anglia Ruskin and went to university in Cataguases, a town 6,000 miles away in Brazil.Another influencer paid by Anglia Ruskin, “Spain with Lauren”, wrote about how much her partner, Alex, had benefited from studying sports science, with no mention that either had attended the university.An investigation by the website Vice found that Anglia Ruskin paid a dozen Instagram influencers to promote it during clearing, none of whom went there. It is unclear how much they were paid, but the university spent £1.19 million on social media, search engines and print marketing last year. Times Higher Education ranks the university as the joint 38th best in the UK.The University of Hull has also turned to influencers to boost its ranks, employing Ambar Driscoll, a model who has nearly a quarter of a million followers on Instagram, to promote it during clearing. Ms Driscoll wrote: “If you find yourself in Clearing this results day, take comfort in the fact that you could still end up at a great place like Hull.” She did not reveal that she studied 280 miles away at Exeter.All of the posts were marked as advertisements but the tactic has raised eyebrows in educational circles.A spokesman for the Office for Students, the universities watchdog, said: “Universities should be careful to ensure advertising is not false or misleading and that prospective students have clarity on the student experience they can expect.”Having reviewed Ms Alonso’s post promoting Anglia Ruskin, the Advertising Standards Authority said that its initial, informal view was that it was a “potential problem”. A spokesman added: “It’s arguably misleading by ambiguity, the paid partnership heading and the use of @angliaruskin and #angliaruskin at the end of the post all contributing to the impression that she attended Anglia Ruskin Uni.Anglia Ruskin said: “Our Instagram partners talk about how their university experiences and qualifications have helped to transform their own lives — sometimes in quite radical ways. These posts, all written by the individuals themselves and clearly marked with an ‘ad’ tag, focus on the wider benefits of considering a university education.”Ms Alonso, Ms Driscoll and the University of Hull did not respond to a request to comment.The rules on endorsements
Online endorsements from celebrities and influencers can help brands to boost sales because millions follow their social media channels to see where they go on holiday, what they wear and which products they use.Consumer protection law requires stars to disclose if they have been paid to promote a product, otherwise they risk giving a misleading impression that a post represents their personal view.For many years, social media influencers and celebrities ignored these rules and promoted products or services without revealing the commercial relationship with brands, with some of the biggest stars commanding six-figure sums for each post.In 2018 the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the chief consumer watchdog, took action and by last year had secured commitments from 16 celebrities, including Ellie Goulding, Rita Ora, Alexa Chung and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, that they would say clearly if they had been paid to promote something online.In February this year, the CMA and the Advertising Standards Authority published guidelines for influencers and brands to make sure they stay within the law.They say influencers should not give the impression that they are genuine customers if they are not, and they must tell followers “clearly, prominently and upfront” if they are receiving payment for a post. Most now label such posts with the word “Ad” at the start. The advertising watchdog says this is the minimum requirement to be within the law.
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/n...took-3hdt87q6g
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londonmyst
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Best laugh I've had in a while.
Well I'm happy that the influencers are earning some money.
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username1799249
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Do people really have so much trust in influrners?
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RedGiant
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What a joke.
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looloo2134
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(Original post by londonmyst)
Best laugh I've had in a while.
Well I'm happy that the influencers are earning some money.
They get free products all the time so they can talk about them and some people listen.
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Rufus the red
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It's playing it pretty dirty but at least we don't have politicians promoting universities they didn't go to... yet...
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londonmyst
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(Original post by ByEeek)
Do people really have so much trust in influrners?
It seems that many under 30s do and are open to buying influencer recommended items.
An instagram influencer sold bottles of her used bathwater priced at $30 each and sold out all stock within three days.
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londonmyst
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(Original post by looloo2134)
They get free products all the time so they can talk about them and some people listen.
Most of the social media influencers I know want cash as well as free items, particularly where instagram is involved.
Multi-platform food and book bloggers will often provide reviews in exchange for receiving free products.
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username1799249
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(Original post by londonmyst)
It seems that many under 30s do and are open to buying influencer recommended items.
An instagram influencer sold bottles of her used bathwater priced at $30 each and sold out all stock within three days.
I'm sure you are right. But I would also believe this is just another story.
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Oxford Mum
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I can’t believe that unis would stoop so low but obviously they have. Disgusting. Soon they will have all the credibility of internet dating sites
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Napp
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(Original post by londonmyst)
It seems that many under 30s do and are open to buying influencer recommended items.
An instagram influencer sold bottles of her used bathwater priced at $30 each and sold out all stock within three days.
I'm not sure who that reflects worse on the woman selling bathwater for a living or the perverts buying it
(Original post by londonmyst)
Most of the social media influencers I know want cash as well as free items, particularly where instagram is involved.
Multi-platform food and book bloggers will often provide reviews in exchange for receiving free products.
Some of those compediums of responses to them are hilarious - ive forgotten the exact name of the reddit subforum but something like needy beggars or the like?
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nexttime
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I mean, government wanted market forces in applications and market forces is exactly what they got. Unconditional offers, 45% 1st class degrees, and now influencers!
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by Rufus the red)
It's playing it pretty dirty but at least we don't have politicians promoting universities they didn't go to... yet...
Some of us have longer memories.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pre...t_ids_cv.shtml


https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.t...cher.politics2
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Joinedup
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This whole parasocial relationship/instagram influencer thing confuses me... I guess people's brains are processing it as if a real world friend who wants the best for them and is sincerely recommending something...
whilst knowing that it's a paid for message from someone who isn't their friend, doesn't give a monkeys about them, makes a living by promoting random crap and (probably) has fewer morals than an alley-cat.
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iNeed2p
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One of the million reasons why i LOVE UNIVERSITY
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Rufus the red
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Were they promoting the universities as such or just trying to enhance their CVs though?
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ROTL94
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(Original post by Napp)
although if a potential student is picking universities because some nobody insta 'influencer' is hawking it then there seems to be a much deeper problem at foot :lol:
Indeed. Incidentally 'influencer' is my least favourite new word.
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