News this week of PewDiePie’s fall from grace should come as a warning to brands looking to jump into bed with social media influencer. The relatively new phenomena of influencers is changing the game in marketing as brands see the value in the huge audiences YouTube creators and the like have amassed. 

In this challenging landscape of expert ad-blockers, teaming up with an influencer who talks directly and candidly with millions of fans is extremely valuable, but has its risks.  

Fans and consumers love the uncensored nature of the interaction with their idol and as such brands are limited by how much they can control the message. PewDiePie is a large scale example of how this can backfire and the likes of Disney and YouTube themselves have taken steps to distance themselves in the aftermath of his ill-advised anti-Semitic video. 

Social media influencers still represent a huge opportunity for brands and we believe will no doubt pave the way in a new era of marketing. That said, neither side are really sure of the rules at play here. Both sides are unsure of the value of such partnerships and its obvious that brands and influencers alike are undergoing a trial and error phase. Expect to see more eyebrow raising stories hit the headlines while this continues.