Influencer fraud’s $1.3B price tag—and how marketers can respond

A new study says companies will waste big bucks on posers with fake followers and over-hyped promises, but industry insiders say it presents an opportunity for savvy pros.

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Influencer marketing has emerged as an exciting tool for communicators looking to tap devoted audiences online—but a lack of regulation threatens to bring down the whole scheme.

That’s the problem being tackled at the first ever Influencer Fraudnomics Summit in New York City on Sept. 17. The event, sponsored by Sylo, is an attempt to bring the communications and marketing world together to solve what some see as an existential threat to digital marketing and influencer campaigns.

“It’s challenging that the industry that was built on trust is struggling with that trust,” says Erick Schwab, co-founder of Sylo, a third-party service that authenticates online audiences.  “It’s a very fine, delicate balancing act.”

 So how did the problem get so bad? 

Dr. Robert Cavazos, a professor of economics and statistics at the University of Baltimore, says the problem is to be expected with a nascent digital approach such as influencer marketing.

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