Election Canada, an independent non-partisan agency that is responsible for Canada’s general elections made a costly error. In a campaign attempt to reach the younger generation of voters, a range of models, sports stars and YouTubers were approached to help promote the vote. A total of $325,000 was paid directly to 13 social media influencers for their services.
As mentioned, a non-partisan agency should not employee influencers with strong beliefs and show clear biases. However, a Global news article highlighted at least three different influencers chosen had strong political views.
One of these influencers was Ashley Callingbull, the successful model has 955,000 Instagram followers and will reach a number of young Canadians. A former Miss Universe with the reach to increase the number of young voters – On first appearances this seems to be an excellent fit.
I decided to look on social media for indications of political bias, scrolling through Instagram I stumble across – Strong Resilient Indigenous, fighting for the rights of indigenous natives. As a “non-partisan” agency, alarm bells should be ringing.
Following on from that, the former Miss Universe appears to be ecstatic at being branded a “Controversial fighter for indigenous rights” by sharing this news article.
The strong political views continue… “challenging” Canadian Parliament.
Finally, the captioned image “sorry not sorry 🙌🏾” from 2015, Ashley has openly urged voters to oppose the Conservatives.
Ashley Callingbull has clearly stated throughout her social media she is an outspoken, strongly opinionated political influencer. The former Miss Universe has wanted to increase her platform to push her political views and has every right to do so. But why had she been approached by Elections Canada?
Luckily, the campaign never started, although $325,000 has been wasted due to poor due diligence. If this hadn’t been spotted, Elections Canada would have suffered a tarnished reputation, and many would have questioned their effectiveness to run an election.
As a business, an influencer must align to your core values. Failing this crucial element can negatively affect your results and your businesses integrity. Please, don’t make this mistake and choose the wrong influencers for your brand.
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