• Creator Briefing
  • Posts
  • Sustainability and creators: choosing Big Oil or the Earth Alliance

Sustainability and creators: choosing Big Oil or the Earth Alliance


Issue #121 | Your reading time this week is 5 mins. 45 secs.

Yesterday I had lunch at the Ivy and spent the evening at an awards dinner. It felt like a day-in-the-life of a 1980s TV ad exec. Anyway, here’s just some of what caught my eye this week:

  • Instagram Reels still tops for influencer marketers

  • Last night’s bCreator Awards

  • Sustainability and creators - choosing Big Oil or the Earth Alliance

  • ASA rules against The Savoy hotel

  • Aussie law influencer who offers C-Bomb-littered legal advice

🙏Can you help me out? Please consider sharing this newsletter with a friend, colleague or student who might be interested in creator marketing. And, if you were forwarded this newsletter, sign up here to get your own weekly copy.

Instagram Reels remains dominant platform for influencer marketing

53.7% of US marketers in 2023 will use Instagram Reels for influencer marketing. This makes the Meta-owned platform top dog for influencer marketing according to a forecast from Insider Intelligence.

However, the analysis notes that TikTok is not far behind with 50% of US influencer marketers using the platform. Insider Intelligence goes on to comment “TikTok’s engagement rates are higher than Instagram Reels’; which could attract the other half of US marketers who have not yet used this platform”.

The channels influencing purchase

According to a report from Morning Consult people who learn about products from influencers tend to be younger, wealthier and have higher educational attainment.

More Gen Z said they learn about products from social media influencers than said the same of any other channel tested, including television, podcasts and other forms of advertising.

For Baby Boomers and Gen X, TV is the dominant channel.

No influencer appeals to a majority of consumers

Whilst Forbes can compile lists of top 50 creators (see last week’s Creator Briefing for more) - the reality is that no influencer appeals to a majority of consumers. Instead, the power of creator content is to celebrate the ‘riches in the niches’. Morning Consult asked consumers who follow influencers to list their top three favourite creators.

Respondents were more likely to say they didn’t have a favourite than to agree on one. Those that did offer a name were likely to write something unique.

Half (51%) of the influencers Gen Z listed as their favourites were unique (i.e. no other Gen Z survey respondent gave the same response).

Canopy launches as a community built by Creators for Creators

This week saw the launch of Canopy - a platform aiming to become the de facto community built by creators for creators.

Founded by Ayomi Samaraweera, former EY management consultant, creator and TikTok employee, Canopy is an anonymous-but-verified platform for content creators to share knowledge, grow their careers, and let off steam all in a safe space.

Canopy aims to help creators succeed and build a sustainable career by enabling them to anonymously ask questions to other content creators who have gone through similar experiences - whether it’s negotiating rate cards, red-lining contracts, or creating invoices.

Snapchat’s My AI feature faces UK ban

Snapchat’s ChatGPT integration (its My AI feature) might be banned in the UK over concerns it could put the privacy of children at risk.

This week the UK Information Commissioner issued a preliminary enforcement notice against Snap stating its “Investigation provisionally finds Snap failed to adequately identify and assess the risks to several million ‘My AI’ users in the UK including children aged 13 to 17”.

Instagram teases return of creator cash bonuses

Back in February Instagram phased out paying creators bonuses based on views of their Reels. This week IG’s chief, Adam Mosseri, told creators “Now what we can do is try to bring it back either to the U.S. or other countries that matter most to us” -- as reported by Kaya Yurieff in The Information.

Oil giant taps influencers to reach tomorrow’s drivers

Oil firm Shell has partnered with Fortnite creators to connect with the drivers of tomorrow. Six Twitch streamers were signed up to promote the ‘Shell Ultimate Road Trips’ campaign.

Media Matters for America, a nonprofit watchdog, is unhappy that young video players are being targetted by oil companies. Allison Fisher, director of Media Matters’ climate and energy program, told the Guardian:

“Regulators in the US and Europe have increasingly cracked down on the fossil fuel industry’s tactic of greenwashing or misrepresenting their products as clean or sustainable … “It may get by regulators, but it doesn’t make it OK.”

The quote highlights the nub of the issue; one based on morals and ethics not regulation - as long as the ad campaigns sit within sustainability regulations in each relevant jurisdiction. The CMA’s Green Claims Code and the Environmental Claims section of the CAP code layout requirements for ads targetted at UK consumers.

See the story below for ways in which creators are working to highlight the impact of the climate crisis.

Earth Alliance opens creator fund

The Earth Alliance, the nonprofit working at the intersection of climate and creativity, has launched a creator fund.

Creators are asked to pitch their idea, and if successful, the organisation will give the creator $2,000 to make it.

The Earth Alliance’s mantra is a belief that a “future in greater harmony with nature is possible through collective action. By lifting up the inspiring voices and innovative ideas, together we can create a healthier planet.”

Delicious nuggets

The Earth Alliance has also created Delicious nuggets - bite-sized, science-backed fact-snacks for creators in include in their content and help them change the conversation about the climate crisis.

AI deepfake ad of MrBeast gets uploaded to TikTok

This week an AI deepfake ad featuring MrBeast slipped through TikTok’s moderation process before being removed a few hours later.

“Lots of people are getting this deepfake scam ad of me” wrote MrBeast this week on X, continuing “are social media platforms ready to handle the rise of AI deepfakes? This is a serious problem.”

TikTok combines human moderation with AI-assisted tech to review ads before they post. It is not the only platform to have an issue with spotting AI deepfake content. Deepfake videos of Sir Keir Starmer, UK’s leader of the opposition, were shared on X, Instagram and Facebook this week at the start of the Labour party conference.

But how can platforms ensure deepfakes ads aren’t published again?

The FTC issued a warning about deefakes and ‘AI deception for sale’ back in March. But, as technology used for making deepfakes becomes more accessible so it becomes harder to regulate at scale.

The UK does not have any specific consolidated legislation on deepfakes according to law firm Lewis Silkin.

Aussie law influencer offers C-Bomb-littered legal advice

Raymond Zhai, a criminal defence lawyer from Sydney, offers social media viewers blunt … and I mean blunt, legal advice.

Known on TikTok as thatcriminallawyer Zhai posts TikToks offering advice to young people about common legal issues ranging from interacting with police to being involved with drugs and abusive relationships.

In a TikTok titled: What to do when you get pulled over by the police Zhai tells viewers: “Don’t be a c**t, they’ve probably just pulled you over because of your driving … instead of saying stupid sh*t just give them your ID and say ‘I don’t want to answer any questions’”.

Such was the surprising strength of Ray Zhai’s language that I looked him up on the register of solicitors in New South Wales -- and yes, he’s legit.

A step change for bCreator Awards

The bCreator Awards were held last night (10th October) in London’s Roundhouse. They celebrated the best of the UK Creator Economy; creators, creator marketing campaigns and agencies.

Congratulations to bCreator’s founder and CEO, Alice Audley, for masterminding an amazing event. It marked a step change for the annual ceremony both in size and ambition. As such, it mirrors the optimism and growth within our sector.

Congratulations to all of the winners including:

  • THE FIFTH - Influencer Marketing Agency of the Year

  • SevenSix Agency - Boutique Influencer Marketing Agency of the Year.

No doubt, the bCreator website and Instagram feed will post a list of all category winners in due course.

DECLARATION: I sat on the bCreator Committee of judges this year and was gifted an invitation to the event.

ASA continues its crackdown on influencers promoting vaping

This week the ASA, the UK’s ad regulator, ruled against four TikTok posts, three on BMOR’s account and one on influencer Amelia Beavis’ account, which promoted unlicensed, nicotine-containing e-cigarettes.

Savoy Hotel gets rapped for influencer non-disclosure

A TikTok post on Lydia Elise Millen’s account was not obviously identifiable as an ad for the Savoy says the ASA in a ruling today (11th October).

Accor Ltd t/a The Savoy said they had an ongoing commercial relationship with Ms Millen (running from last year). But, that the arrangement covered Millen’s content posted to Instagram only. These posts, it noted, were always clearly marked as ads.

The hotel company said content which appeared on Ms Millen’s TikTok account was outside of the scope of that agreement. It reasoned that the posts were not paid for by them nor were they signed off by them and were not therefore ads for The Savoy.

Not so says the ASA which argued that the TikTok contained similar content to the Instagram ad and had been posted on or around the same dates.

The ad regulator also considered that the further exposure on TikTok about The Savoy by Ms Millen was likely to benefit the brand.

Finally the ASA said because the TikTok was so “closely linked to the Instagram ad, and therefore linked to the ongoing commercial agreement between Ms Millen and Fairmont under which she was paid in hotel stays in exchange for posting content on Instagram about The Savoy, it was also a marketing communication for the purposes of the Code”.

Potential perils of influencers delivering more than contracted deliverables

The Travel Trade Gazette asked me to comment on this ruling for an article in today’s TTG: “A challenge can arise when creators love the product or destination they’re being paid to promote so much they produce content beyond the deliverables they’re contracted to create. The influencer sees this as brand love and added value. Ad regulators, however, see this as content produced while within a commercial relationship.

What did you think of this week's newsletter?

Honest feedback helps me create the best possible newsletter for you each week

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Join the conversation

or to participate.