Famous bloggers in France and Germany are being offered money by UK based PR agencies with links to Russia to spread misinformation about vaccines, this according to the Guardian newspaper. The paper reported that Fazze, an influencer marketing platform, was reportedly approached by a firm that claims that it is based in London.
The same agency, also contacted French YouTubers to “explain … the death rate among the vaccinated with Pfizer is almost 3x higher than the vaccinated by AstraZeneca”.
Leo Grasset says an agency approached him with a ‘colossal budget’. He posted what he was expected to do on his Twitter feed here.
The instructions he says were, “act like you have the passion and interest in this topic”, and avoid using the words “advertising” or “sponsored” in posts or videos because “the material should be presented as your independent view”.
A German YouTuber, Mirko Drotschmann, also received a similar request. He posted that on his Twitter feed here.
The PRCA has weighed in. PRCA Director of Marketing & Communications Koray Camgöz MPRCA said, “The activities highlighted in this report are deeply concerning. They appear to suggest a front company was established by foreign actors to dissuade the public from taking the Pfizer vaccine. The company reported is not – and never was – a PRCA member.
“PR and communications professionals have a duty to fight mistruths, and we’re proud of the role PRCA members play in advocating the highest ethical standards.”