Always Exercise Caution When Associating with Influencers

Posted by Elijah Pysyk • Aug 3, 2023 1:44:17 PM

In a recent article, afags (an Indian news site) raises an important question: Should brands be cautious about associating with toxic influencers, especially in light of a political podcast misfire? 

Brands should take great care before they decide who they align within the influencer world. This is especially true when influencers have considerable reach in the media environment, and in this case, a podcast, which misfired. The incident involved a podcast, where influencer Allahbadia (host of the ‘The Ranveer Show’) asked a controversial question to Deepak (Political Advocate).


In the clip, Allahbadia asks Deepak a controversial question – to name three Indians who should leave India and never come back. Deepak responds by mentioning the names of journalist Barkha Dutt, and renowned historians Romila Thapar and Irfan Habib. The clip went viral and sparked a debate online about Deepak’s views. People have criticized Allahbadia for asking an insensitive question. He was accused of spreading political propaganda.


What Factors Are Important In Choosing Influencers to Associate Your Brand With

  • a) Reputation and Resonance: One of the primary reasons for brands to exercise caution when partnering with influencers is reputation. In the digital age, public perception is crucial, and brands are often judged by the company they keep. Associating with toxic influencers who promote negativity or endorse harmful ideologies can quickly tarnish a brand's image, leading to a loss of trust among consumers.
  • b) Authentic Connections That Build Relationships: when influencers who have been vetted in your process suddenly go toxic, brands risk alienating genuine connections who value positivity, constructive engagement, and ethical practices. Surrounding yourself with influencers who uplift and inspire can reinforce a brand's identity and values. Building authentic connections with the target audience is essential for long-term brand success. 
  • c) Evaluate Influencers Thoroughly: Conduct comprehensive research before collaborating with an influencer. Review their past content, engagement with followers, and any potential controversies to ensure alignment with your brand's values.
  • d) Approve Content Carefully: Opt for per-video basis partnerships to have more control over the content your brand is associated with. Prioritize approving content that reflects your brand's ethos and resonates positively with your target audience.

How to Resolve Brand Safety Incidents with Influencers?

If a brand finds itself in a situation where an influencer's content turns toxic, effective communication is key to resolving the issue.

  • a) Open Dialogue: Initiate a dialogue with the influencer, their audience, and your own audience. Address the concerns openly and transparently. Express your brand's discomfort with the content and emphasize that it does not align with your values and principles.
  • b) Seek Content Alignment: Encourage the influencer to reshoot or modify the content to better align with your brand's values. Often, influencers are willing to work together to find a solution that ensures a positive partnership while also being mindful of their content's impact.
  • c) Consider Parting Ways: If efforts to rectify the situation prove unsuccessful and the influencer's content continues to promote toxicity, consider parting ways amicably. Sometimes, ending the association is the best course of action to protect your brand's reputation and integrity.

In conclusion, brands should exercise caution when choosing to work with influencers. Upholding a positive reputation, fostering authentic connections, and promoting ethical practices should always be at the forefront of any brand partnership. In cases where an influencer's content becomes toxic, open communication and a compassionate approach can help find a resolution. By carefully evaluating potential influencers and approving content mindfully, brands can protect their reputation and ensure that they align with influencers who positively contribute to their brand identity.

Topics: Influencer Marketing