Editing comes with being an influencer. Whether you fix the lightning of a photo or give yourself a jawline, we all edit our photos to some extent. Yes, there are some people who boast about not putting any filters or anything on their photos, but often they know their angles and how they should pose.
The ad agency Ogilvy recently announced they are not going to be working with influencers who retouch their photos from now on. The agency claimed that these edited, or in other words retouched or photoshopped, photos are against the authenticity that influencer marketing should have. While this decision is something that many support, it also pops the question: are influencers really guilty for editing their photos?
Asking the real question: Who created these exceptions of beauty for Influencers?
Everybody wants to look good. That is not a secret, and Influencers are definitely not an exception. In the job’s nature, Influencers are supposed to look good and present the products or services in a good fashion. If the content doesn’t look good, Influencer won’t be able to sell or promote the brand as required. So they are obliged to create content that appeals to the eye.
Here comes the part Influencers are most accused of: using filters and photoshop to alter their content. Beauty and fashion Influencers are mostly the target of this accusation due to them putting themselves in the front of their content. So it’s natural that they use more editing applications than anyone else.
With the expectation of beauty changing, Influencers were under the pressure for conforming to the standards. This meant smoothing out their skin, cinching their waists, clearing out the people behind them, and sometimes putting on makeup through an app. While they are definitely guilty of doing these, it is vital to remember that most of them had to do that to be accepted by audiences.
Ogilyv has a right to stop working with Influencers who edit their photos. However, throwing these influencers under the bus with an aim to praise themselves for being “authentic” and giving importance to “being clean and truthful” is not the way to go. They can choose their influencers through scanning their photos, and checking whether they are photoshopping. But was there a reason to announce something like this? No. What do I think they should have done? They should have changed their company strategy internally, and not point fingers at Influencers who had nothing to do with them to start with.
It’s also worth mentioning that they are only applying this rule to social media campaigns, which is another red flag for the company for me. Let’s check the starting point of this beauty expectation, and work our way upwards. It doesn’t work to blame one part of users just to get some claps.
What do you think about Ogilyv’s decision? Do you think brands should continue working with Influencers who edit their content? Or do you prefer to see raw and unedited photos and videos from Influencers? Let us know on our socials!