How Much Influencer Marketing is Undisclosed? Evidence from Twitter

28 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2023 Last revised: 22 Apr 2024

See all articles by Daniel Ershov

Daniel Ershov

UCL School of Management; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Yanting He

Imperial College Business School

Stephan Seiler

Imperial College Business School; Centre for Economic Policy Research

Date Written: April 22, 2024

Abstract

We quantify the prevalence of undisclosed influencer posts on Twitter across a large set of brands based on a unique data set of over 100 million posts. We develop a novel method to detect undisclosed influencer posts and find that 96% of influencer posts are not disclosed as such. Despite stronger enforcement of disclosure regulations, the share of undisclosed posts decreases only slightly over time. Compared to disclosed posts, undisclosed posts tend to be associated with younger brands with a large Twitter following and are posted from smaller accounts that generate higher engagement per follower.

Keywords: Social Media, Influencer Marketing, Advertising Disclosure, Consumer Protection

JEL Classification: C55, M31, M37, M38

Suggested Citation

Ershov, Daniel and He, Yanting and Seiler, Stephan, How Much Influencer Marketing is Undisclosed? Evidence from Twitter (April 22, 2024). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4607235 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4607235

Daniel Ershov

UCL School of Management ( email )

One Canada Square
London, E14 5AA
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Yanting He

Imperial College Business School ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London SW7 2AZ, SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.imperial.ac.uk/people/y.he21

Stephan Seiler (Contact Author)

Imperial College Business School ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London SW7 2AZ, SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research ( email )

London
United Kingdom

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