Government paid influencers to promote Covid-19 track and trace

Sep 1, 2020 | Content marketing, Instagram, Online advertising, Online video, UK, Viral and buyrals

Government paid influencers to promote Covid-19 track and trace
The UK Government has revealed that it paid social media influencers and reality TV stars to promote its NHS Test and Trace system.

Love Island stars including Shaughna Phillips, Josh Denzel and Chris Hughes were seen to advertise the Government’s coronavirus tracking scheme, which informed people if they had been in contact with a person who has coronavirus.

The Government has been criticised over the effectiveness of the scheme, as it has failed to reach its 80% target for the ninth week in a row.

In a statement, a government spokesperson said: “Our use of social media influencers has meant over seven million people have been reached. This is just one part of a wider campaign utilising TV, radio, social, print and other advertisements to ensure the public has the information it needs.”

Love Island stars Shaughna Philips posted on Instagram to her 1.5million followers. She wrote: “A throwback to what I love most! Nights out and good friends! Although this may feel like a distant memory to us all, we can all do our part to make sure we can get back to better times, as safely as possible.”

View this post on Instagram

A throwback to what I love most! Nights out and good friends! Although this may feel like a distant memory to us all, we can all do our part to make sure we can get back to better times, as safely as possible. Guys I want to remind you about the importance of Coronavirus testing and that its totally free, quick and is vital to stop the spread of coronavirus. Getting tested for coronavirus is the best way for us all to get back to doing the things we love and I love nothing more than spending time with my friends. Yesterday I visited my nearest drive though testing centre, which is literally 2 minutes from my house! I was able to book a test online, and have it carried out all under 1 hour, it was so convenient! When I woke up this morning I had already received my results by text and email! I’ve also checked the Royal Mail website to see where my nearest priority postbox is, as well as the stickers I need to look out for on the postbox itself. This will help me in the future if I need to carry out a home test kit. Everyone with symptoms, no matter how mild, can get a free test by calling 119 or visiting NHS.uk. #letsgetback #gettested #ad

A post shared by Shaughna Phillips (@shaughnaphillips) on

On his own page, 2017 Love Island star Chris Hughes told his 2.1 million followers ‘getting tested for coronavirus is the best way for us all to get back to doing the things we love’, as he posed alongside mates. He wrote, with the tags #letsgetback #gettested, and #ad: ‘We all play a crucial part in helping normalise this behaviour. ‘I was worried I might have mild symptoms so I tested to be sure. It was so, so simple!’

Social media stars usually cost between £5,000 and £10,000 for an ad post.The Government’s spokesman said: “All costs involved in the campaign will be published as part of the regular transparency reports on gov.uk.”

The celebrities could also face an investigation by the Advertising Standards Agency after not initially labelling their posts as advertisements.

The Government’s spokesman indicated the Cabinet Office had been clear about labelling such content correctly and noted all three posts had “now” been marked as ads.

All topics

Previous editions

Get email edition

Share This