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Making Money on Instagram Advertising Cigarettes – Behind the News

Making Money on Instagram Advertising Cigarettes – Behind the News

Whether it’s the newest
beauty trends… Ow! Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow!
Ooh! ..the next big food thing… (SIGHS) ..or the latest in street fashion… ..social media seems to have it all. But while it’s easy to think all those posts
just exist for funsies, a lot of it is actually big business. Studies show people can be influenced
into buying something just by seeing someone
who seems fashionable, fit, alternative, cool,
knowledgeable, talented, or just plain famous wear it,
use it, or say how completely,
amazingly awesome it is. And that’s why businesses
like to use celebrities and social media stars
to feature their stuff. (GASPS) Breakout Beasts! But it’s not always obvious
when something is an ad. It might just be a product deliberately placed
in a pretty photo, like this, this, or this. But what happens when that product
is actually really dangerous to your health and illegal
to advertise in any other way? Well, that’s an issue that’s got
many anti-smoking organisations seriously worried right now. They carried out a study in the US and discovered that
big tobacco companies are asking some of
the most Insta-worthy influencers to subtly promote cigarettes
in their posts. They found evidence
of campaigns to target people – especially young people – in at least 40 different countries,
including Australia. The tobacco companies paid
the influencers money, gave them gifts
or invitations to exclusive parties. And the posts? Well, the study showed
they got at least 25 billion views and clicks all around the world. That’s some serious influence. But advertising cigarettes
is illegal in Australia and has been since the 1970s. Companies can be fined
up to $126,000, and an individual person,
up to $25,000. The only thing that’s allowed here
are ads against smoking. But social media is a bit of
a loophole to those advertising laws because the stuff we’re seeing
isn’t all originating in Australia. It’s from all over the place, and that can make it
pretty tough to track. Because of that, experts say, when you’re over 13
and scrolling through your feed, just keep in mind that these guys
are called influencers for a reason. They have a lot of it,
and many are willing to sell it. Whenever I see things
that people are wearing, I always think, “I want that.” There’s a lot of models, I think,
on it as well, or, um… Which can influence younger users –
teenagers and stuff – to aspire to be like them. I think a lot of people depend
heavily on social media these days, especially people my age, so I think that it does influence
what we buy, what we look up to, what we do in our lives
more than we’d like to admit.

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