Emma Beuckels is a postdoctoral researcher (Research Foundation, Flanders – FWO) at the department of Communication Sciences of Ghent University. She investigates intensive media use and how individuals critically cope with the content of social media influencers. These individuals are considered important opinion leaders in today’s society, as they exhibit a strong influence on the attitudes and behaviors of their large number of followers. Emma specifically investigates how these highly popular and commercialized profiles impact today’s parents and the choices they make for their children.
Steffi De Jans is a postdoctoral researcher (FWO fellow) at the Department of Communication Sciences at Ghent University. She obtained her PhD in 2020 on how minors can be empowered to cope with digital advertising. Now, she conducts research on how consumers (both minors and adults) can be empowered to cope with digital advertising (such as social media advertising, influencer marketing) for dark consumption behavior (i.e., advertising for harmful products or behavior such as gambling and unhealthy eating behavior). She investigates the development and testing of digital communication intervention tools (e.g., social media influencers, alertness labels) to change behavior.
All That Glitters Is Not Gold: The Ethical Concerns Related to Influencer Marketing
Increasing advertising budgets are shifting towards the influencer marketing industry. Even though influencers are embraced by brands for their great persuasiveness and relationship with their audience, their success comes with a number of concerns. This sparked academic interest over the past decade, identifying ethical issues for all stakeholders involved in the influencer marketing process.