There are 20 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Q Malandrino 21 Jun 2018

    Ritson for president. Or at least knighthood.

  2. Richard Fullerton 21 Jun 2018

    Very influential article, Mark.

  3. Richard Fullerton 21 Jun 2018

    PS Mark did you see this article in The Drum?
    What happened to social communities? Do brands and businesses still care?

  4. James Gibson 21 Jun 2018

    Love this article. I know you’ve said you won’t write a book, but I think you should. Not just exposing all the BS in current marketing, but defining what makes for good marketing.

  5. ted wright 21 Jun 2018

    I humbly suggest that your argument only hangs together because you are misusing the term “influencers” by using the definition bandied about by people flogging fake influencers.

    Working back to front, actual Influencers have demonstrable influence (books about them, their power and mathematically proving their real world effect by Ed Keller and Brad Fay as well as many other legit works by others). Actual Influencers are very trusted (Mark Grayson and Northwestern’s Trust Project, McKinsey, Weight Watchers, Pepsi and WOMMA have all tested the theories and found them to be true). 70% of real Influencers conversations are face-to-face so those people they are talking to are real. 20% of those conversations are over the phone, also probably very real people. Only 10% of a real Influencers conversations are via social media or on-line. I have no idea what % of those people are real.

    I know from my own experience that about 32% of the people that “follow” me on Twitter are not real. I’ve only ever had one fake follower via LinkedIn out of a couple of thousand who I interact with at least every three months. The 100’s of people who rely on my me rec’s on booze, restaurants, street art and travel are all very real and some of them have been having conversations with me for over 30 years.

    Thanks for pillorying the bullshit artists. I find the renaming of jumped up bloggers as “Influencers” professionally and morally repugnant. I appreciate your words. I hope you’ll change descriptors when talking about the frauds.

  6. John Billett 22 Jun 2018

    Mark. Great stuff and good analysis. Just one small request. Can you aim for shorter more pithy articles for shorter time spent reading and stop your arse suffering written liquidity please

  7. Robert Speechley 22 Jun 2018

    In addition to being highly amusing it’s right on the money. Thank you.

  8. Nick Turner 22 Jun 2018

    Yep – read it to the end – totally agree with the principles of your findings. What a crock of over-inflated s**t the whole digital/social media marketing industry has become. An industry full of frauds – what ever happened to “the management process of identifying, anticipating and meeting customer requirements….. profitably (CIM 1984, 2001)?

  9. Al King 22 Jun 2018

    Are you, dear reader, human? YES
    Did you actually see this column and make it to the end? YES
    Do you trust me? YES
    And does my case, built from flimsy data and a giant pixellated image of my bottom, influence your way of thinking? NO (I agree)
    Or have I just made a massive arse of myself? NO

  10. Max Willey 22 Jun 2018

    Didn’t read the article, but I love the print – it’s been all over my insta. Where can I buy it?

  11. Ashley Khan 22 Jun 2018

    Interesting read – whilst it may be a crock of cow dung or a pot of gold, you can’t deny those that have created the influencer ideology to be clever. In essence, they’ve done what a marketer would do in identifying a gap within a market, calling it something new and drawing people/businesses in to purchase the c***p, right?

  12. Georgina Hopkins 22 Jun 2018

    Best marketing article I have read for some time. Brilliant – and hilarious – example of the lack of credibility of some of these ‘influencers’. Yes, it has its place, and can work well with the right product for the right blogger… but like anything with marketing, you have to make sure you don’t get a bum deal (!)

  13. Rebecca Edwards 22 Jun 2018

    Made it all the way to the end! A highly entertaining and informative read – I guffawed out loud at least twice! As a PR, influencer marketing seemed like the Emperor’s new clothes from the start….

  14. peter horst 23 Jun 2018

    As always, hilarious, pugnacious and right on the money. Just one more thing making it hard to now what’s real and what to believe.

  15. Marlene Greenhalgh 24 Jun 2018


  16. Dom Graham 25 Jun 2018

    Influencer marketing has no more authenticity than any other type of advertising imo. I don’t doubt that in certain circumstances, a social post from a high profile account will have an effect, but you’re talking actual celebrity or personality. And then it comes down to being little different to a traditional ad featuring a personality, just a different delivery method. The 2 things that really annoy me are that (having sat through several presentations by influencer agencies) many of said perky & sockless presenter (who no doubt list “keynote speaker” as one of their skills on LinkedIn) have come to talk about the latest snake oil for sale (which imagination-lacking marketers lap up). Then there’s the inflated sense of self worth that comes from someone describing themselves as an influencer because they followed ten thousand people then unfollowed 9950 of them in order to look popular. If you want to use influencers, use them, but as part of a larger strategy; but just don’t try and tell me it’s the new shiny thing that’s better than everything else that’s come before it.

  17. eamon mcloughlin 25 Jun 2018

    The centre of the Three Circles of Bullshit is a pouting butthole. Very little of use emerges.

  18. James Hogan 19 Sep 2018

    A bit late to the party, but a good read. Thank you Mr Ritson.

  19. Tim Prizeman 28 Dec 2018

    Someone at online mattress-seller Eve’s Secret should have read this article.

    According to this recent article in The Telegraph that following its influencer marketing led strategy “with the average order only worth £445, it means marketing costs the company £1 for every £1.80 of sales. ”

  20. Jessica Brennan 2 Jan 2019

    The fact that your first image is clearly a Twitter post and you go on to talk about the “influencers” posting on Instagram means that no, I’m afraid, I don’t trust you. 🙂 Your experiment is the same as an inexperienced person booking a few press ads with no data or knowledge and it not working- what does that prove? Only that you’ve wasted your money. At legitimate and good agencies you will take into consideration all the issues above and use the data (real data not made up stats) to create campaigns that work e.g. by using CPC to negotiate rates not by using follower counts. What you’re talking about above is ill informed marketers choosing a few random people with followings based on nothing but follower counts. That, i’m afraid, is not true influencer marketing.

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