February 07, 2020

Mike Bloomberg will pay you $150 to say nice things about him
What will Bloomberg try to buy next? His campaign is quietly hiring Instagram influencers to make him seem cool Money can’t buy you friends. But it can buy you influence – or influencers, to be precise. In the latest round of “What will Mike Bloomberg buy next?” (he has already been accused of buying his way into the presidential race) Bloomberg is offering $150 a pop to Instagram influencers willing to shill for his campaign, according to the Daily Beast.The Bloomberg campaign is using the social marketing agency Tribe to recruit influencers. A post on Tribe’s platform – which matches influencers with paid opportunities – asks influencers to apply for the gig by explaining “why Mike Bloomberg is the electable candidate who can rise above the fray, work across the aisle so ALL Americans feel heard & respected”. The advert specifies influencers should “be honest, passionate and be yourself!” Tribe says it aims to collect “organic” looking photos and videos that can be shared by Bloomberg’s team, but is not asking influencers to share the content themselves.Tribe specializes in “drool-worthy, branded content” and works with 68,862 influencers, according to its website. According to the Daily Beast, the advert asks influencers to submit still images or videos using text to explain why the influencer supports “Mike” – and describes the billionaire as “a middle-class kid who worked his way through college”.Influencers must be US residents to apply, and are barred from using profanity, nudity or “overtly negative content”. The listing describes Bloomberg as a “proven supporter of progressive values” – highlighting his work on gun violence (Bloomberg founded and funds the Everytown for Gun Safety, which campaigns for greater gun control). It does not mention his “stop-and-frisk” policy that disproportionately targeted black and Latino men while Bloomberg was mayor of New York, which he has apologized for since joining the race. After all, what’s Instagram for, if not to filter out the unsavory things in life?Bloomberg’s team declined to comment on the campaign.• This article was amended on 7 February 2020. A previous version of this article suggested Tribe was asking influencers to post about Bloomberg on their own social media accounts. It was updated to reflect the fact that Tribe is collecting materials for Bloomberg’s campaign to share. There is also no minimum follower count for the influencers involved.
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