The top Influencer Marketing scandals of 2018

It’s 2019 and we’re all excited about starting a new year. But before doing that, INfleur is taking us back to 2018. In that year, influencer marketing saw a lot growth, and at the same time some downsides. Stories like influencer ‘scams’, breach of contracts and many more made headlines. Let’s take a quick look at the top influencer marketing scandals of 2018.


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1. Youtube icon, Logan Paul, posts video of ‘dead body’ causes unrest on the platform

“We found a dead body in the Japanese Suicide Forest,” was the title of Logan’s video– which generated over 6 million views! Logan had videoed himself standing next to a corpse, in Japan’s Aokigahara forest, a location commonly known for youthful suicides. “This is not clickbait. This is the most real vlog I’ve ever posted on this channel”, he said in the start of the video.

However, this video was instantly pulled off his channel after concerns were raised over safety. There were other ripple effects from Logan being taken off Google Preferred, to him losing many brand sponsorship deals.

In the end, Logan apologized for the harm caused and months later, looks like he was forgiven. Forbes named him top #10 highest paid Youtuber at the end of the year.


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i feel like a flavor of ice cream, tag a creamsicle

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2. California Wildfires used as click-bait #prayforcalifornia

Last year, Malibu, California was hit with a series of fire storms, which claimed lots of lives and properties. Famous celebrities also suffered from these terrible fires. Over 10 Holloywood top shots, including Gerard Butler and Miley Cyrus lost their homes to the fires.

But guess who was having a great time amidst all these atrocities? Yup, some bloggers and influencers decided to turn this tragedy into payday. While posting their photos on Instagram, they’d add hashtags related to the fires to drive more traffic. This led to an outrage on social media, as users were ‘disgusted’ by their behaviors.

Read more: Breaking: Fire destroys homes of celebrities in California!

3. Floyd Mayweather and DJ Khaled sued for advertising cryptocurrency scam

Another example of failed influencer marketing in 2018 was the Centra Tech scandal, which made headlines in May. The company was facing a lawsuit for defrauding some investors of a huge $32 million sum. By October, TMZ reported that Mayweather and DJ Khaled were also a part of the lawsuit, after they were hired for an influencer campaign on behalf of Centra Tech to convince people to invest. “Mayweather and Khaled, who both signed endorsement deals with Centra Tech, encouraged people to buy the coin with Twitter and Instagram posts”, Digiday wrote.


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I felt like driving today FATHER OF ASHAD #2019

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The top Influencer Marketing ‘scandals’ of 2018
4. “Tanacon”, an influencer’s ‘Vidcon’ event, huge disappointment to fans

In June, Tana Mongeau, a YouTuber with 3.5 million followers, threw her own VidCon after expressing her disappointment for the event. Her ‘fun’ event, Tanacon, which she named after herself, was supposed to feature other famous Youtubers like Casey Neistat and Bella Thorne. “Mongeau gave away free tickets and sold VIP ones for $65, which were supposed to give fans access to meet some of their favorite YouTubers, gift bags with signed memorabilia and a concert”, Digiday reported.

However, to the disappointment of the thousands that attended, the event was plain ‘crap’. In fact, it was shut down after six hours due to an overcrowded venue-20,000 people occupied a venue meant for 5000! The gift bags contained only stickers and condoms, and numerous fans couldn’t get the chance to meet their favorite Youtubers as planned.


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me leaving a fun outing with friends because my manager is screaming at me on the other end of the line

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5. Influencer ‘scams’ followers of almost $200,000 for online program

Again, 2018 was hit with one of the craftiest ‘scams’ by an influencer. Aggie Lal, a famous travel blogger, advertised and run her own online program– “How to Grow Your Instagram.” The 12-week course which was priced at $500 per head, promised to teach students how they can become a travel blogger earning six figures. 380 students signed up, leading to Aggie grossing close to $200,000!

Long story short, the deal was not honored fully. Furthermore. angry students stormed Buzzfeed with various stories labeling the whole program a ‘scam’. In fact, some claim the blogger was only using them to sell ‘affiliate links’. However, Aggie responded by refuting claims and promised to refund monies…


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A post shared by AGGIE LAL 💫 travel girl (@travel_inhershoes) on

Read more: Scam?–Influencer charged $500 fee for classes which didn’t come off as planned!

6. Luka Sabbat sued by Snapchat for failed influencer marketing campaign

Last but certainly not least, Snapchat shocked all with a lawsuit against one of their own influencers, Luka Sabbat. Being one of the biggest campaign failures, PR Consulting, on behalf of its client Snapchat, sued Luka for not holding his end of an advertisement deal for Snap Spectacles.

Sabbat was paid a large $45,000 upfront, for a $60,000 deal to post four pictures of himself wearing the spectacles. Surprisingly, the young influencer posted only one photo!

This scandal not only hurt Luka Sabbat’s credibility, but also embarrassed Snapchat for running campaigns on Instagram Stories–a feature similar to Snapchat itself.


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Guys, I have a secret😔

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In a nutshell, influencer marketing in 2018 taught us love, patience and pain all at once. Regardless, we learnt so much and are starting a new year with a clean slate. Hopefully, our influencers would be on good behavior and there’d be no more scandals in 2019 😉

Amanda Lucy


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