Did 4 separate local influencers suddenly wake up this week and decided they wanted to post a (glowing) review of Lancome's Ultra Wear Foundation, or did they conveniently decided they'll sneak an ad on us without disclosing that they were sponsored?

I would have (almost...or not) believed it was an organic review and they genuinely all just happened to want to rave about how amazing Lancome's foundation is. That is, until you see how glaringly similar all the messages are:

  • The Ultra Wear Foundation by Lancome
  • Matte / like a second skin / flawless
  • Provides a link to Lancome's page for followers to claim a free sample to try

(Note: I do not own any credits for any of the photos below. All screenshots taken from the named Instagram profiles.)

As a consumer on Instagram, I absolutely HATE being lied to. And when someone try to pass off a sponsored review as an organic opinion of their own, that's definitely lying as I see it.

Whether or not this was a paid post or they were sponsored in kind (with the product), I'm sure we can all agree that the hashtags #sp #sponsored or #ad should have been clearly stated here. 

Now, an influencer posting a sponsored review doesn't necessarily mean they are lying about their thoughts towards the product or service. But the way I see it, an influencer posting a sponsored review without disclosing that a sponsored affiliation exists is clearly demonstrating their lack of integrity and ethics.

But what if they weren't paid in cash to do so? Well, I'll quote the ASAS here on what defines a sponsored relationship:

The last time I called out something similar, some influencers went back to sneakily add in the sponsored disclosure hashtag while remaining completely silent (read the UOB Krisflyer expose here). Let's see if the same happens this time. 

What's so difficult about disclosing sponsored relationships? Or are people afraid that their followers won't trust them anymore if they know the review was sponsored? -.-

We need to insist on higher standards in influencer marketing, and it is up to you and me to change it. If you're an influencer yourself, start by being open and honest with your readers. If you're a reader or follower, call out your favourite influencers when they fail to disclose sponsorships. Because you know, maybe they really did happen to just...forget.

With love,
Budget Babe