Yesterday I got caught up watching video after video on youtube about Black Influencers who were misrepresented by big brands. Misrepresented and taken advantage of. Not long ago I had written a blog post about the Revolve situation and how bloggers were speaking up against them not having women of color in their campaigns and Socials. This situation is similar but different, but for lack of a better term this is worst.
Big brands are approaching Women of Color offering us free things, forcing us to sign contracts, pushing tight turn around times on us, and asking for high quality images and videos for FREE!!! While they pay out thousands of dollars to other Influencers who they deem more worthy, and those Influencers happen to not be women of color. They want our audience but they refuse to pay for it. I recently mentioned I was no longer allowing anyone to send me free products, then force me to talk about them a certain way. A very popular watch brand tried to do that to me a couple months ago and I told them no, if they couldn’t fit me into their budget they could not have the eyes and ears of my followers, period!
Redbubble is an online market if you would like to call it that, for independent artists, and I happen to be a real customer of theirs. When Redbubble reached out to me to be apart of their Women’s Month campaign, I was honored. I am a huge fan of Redbubble and this cause is dear to my heart. Working with them made me realize what collaborations should be like.
I was allowed complete creative freedom, I had a point person that responded immediately to all my questions and a clear and concise outline. They made it so easy for me, all I had to do was show up. The funny thing is even if Redbubble had approached me to do this campaign for free, I would have because I stood by their message and what they were doing for independent artist. The campaign has not even ended and already my point person has contacted me about payment. This entire interaction is rare.
I did a collaboration a couple months ago with one of those instagram boutiques and we came to an agreement. I did everything on my end and when it was time for payment they took my PayPal and I never heard back from them. To be completely honest this has happened to twice before it’s a very disrespectful thing for a company to do. There are companies out there like the very popular Instagram watch company who will pay certain influencers a lot of money and then give the rest of us free watches. In 2019 I made it my resolution that I was going to be very picky with companies who approached me. I was no longer taking any products to review to just review it because that in itself is a scam. I like buying products I’m genuinely interested in and being honest about them without the pressure of someone telling me when to post and what to say.
Not all companies are out to scam influencers though, and here’s to all the brands out their being honest and practicing ethical marketing when conducting collaborations and sponsorships with Influencers.
We will support brands who include Women of Color and all those who have been under-represented by major brands for far too long. Let’s end the month on a strong note.
( This is a reblog of a Blogpost that was originally written March 17, 2019 on LaurenOLauren.com)