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Australian Government Under Fire for Spending $700k on Instagram Influencers

Australia's Federal Government has come under scrutiny for investing more than $700,000 of taxpayer money on commissioning Instagram influencers.

Although influencer marketing is growing at an extortionate rate and over three quarters (77%) are set to create more branded content for brands, it’s not always as rosy as it seems.

This week, Australia’s Federal Government has come under scrutiny for investing more than $700,000 of taxpayer money on commissioning Instagram influencers to promote their social media campaigns, according to a report carried out by the Daily Telegraph.

In response, Health Minister Greg Hunt has called for an inquest into his own department’s use of Instagram influencers and the funding of the Girls Make You Move fitness campaign, which launched in 2016 and ran over an 18-month period with the aim to address encourage physical activity among young Australian women.

The report found that some of the chosen influencers working on the campaign had previously been associated with extreme dieting and endorsed alcohol, often in partnership with alcohol brands.  

The advertising firm used to commission the influencers is no longer contracted by the government.

However, data analytics from firm Lumio claims that a small number of influencers contracted by the Department of Health had large audiences and engaged enough to effectively spread the Girls Make Your Move message.

In addition, research led by influencer agency HelloSociety found that young people would be more open to exploring a new physical activity after seeing an Instagram post from someone they admire.

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