Big Pharma isn’t satisfied with old-fashioned television ads. Now they’re partnering with Instagram influencers.
In a pink tutu against a pink backdrop, Erin Ziering, wife of former 90210 star Ian Ziering, advertises Allergan breast implants and Botox side by side in a December 2018 post — the same month the company pulled its textured implants from European markets in response to a notice from the Food and Drug Administration that individuals with breast implants are at risk of developing breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).
Let’s put the “medical industrial complex” on the list of things millennials should kill. Maybe then we wouldn’t have Goldman Sachs asking whether curing patients is sustainable.
Weed firms are using online influencers to get around rules that prohibit the marketing of cannabis, even in U.S. states where the drug is legal. These influencers tend to be young women, who post on Instagram and YouTube, according to a report in Wired. Content can range from confessional videos to product reviews. Even though YouTube said it prohibits content around regulated substances like marijuana and removes the videos when it discovers them, firms marketing the products are benefiting from the influencers’ work.
For marketing agencies and companies selling cannabis products, influencers have been a boon – a creative way to get around regulations, with the added impression of authenticity. Typically, the more people that are looking at your product, or your posts, the better. But as public and legal attitudes to cannabis have shifted, the subcultures immersed in it are being subject to more scrutiny than before.