Influencers Tell All? Unravelling Authenticity and Credibility in a Brand Scandal

Crystal Abidin, Mart Ots

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review


This chapter discusses the emerging practices of social media Influencers. In focus are
six influential Instagram Influencers who were ‘exposed’ for involving themselves in
campaigns aiming to discredit telecommunications providers in Singapore. In the absence
of enforced legal boundaries and industry norms regarding advertising formats
and advertising ethics, brand scandals are frequent, causing concern among regulators,
brand managers, and platform owners. When starting to accommodate commercial
brands and contents in social media posts, Influencers are constantly at risk of breaching
their contract of trust with their followers. The case study shows how Influencers,
followers, and eventually also the brand clients, are sensitive to what they experience as
deceptive and unethical behaviours that will put normative pressures onto the Influencers
to conform to certain ethical standards.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBlurring the Lines: Market-driven and Democracy-driven Freedom of Expression
EditorsMaria Edström, Andrew T Kenyon, Eva-Maria Svensson
Place of PublicationGöteborg
ISBN (Electronic)978-91-87957-37-6
ISBN (Print)978-91-87957-36-9
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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