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Minister for Health orders department to stop paying 'influencers' to promote government campaigns.

The Australian Government’s Health Department has spent over $800,000 in the past 18 months from taxpayer funds to pay “influencers” to support their campaigns via sponsored posts, the Daily Telegraph has disclosed. Over $600,000 of this was used on the #girlsmakeyourmove social media campaign.

The publication revealed that some influencers were being paid up to $3000 per post and that there were over a hundred different influencers who had been remunerated by the Government to post pictures on Instagram that encouraged their followers to exercise.

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Questions were raised about the suitability of these influencers, and the actual benefit it provided for the health of Australians. There was also concern over the actual influence some of the Instagrammers had, due to a lack of ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ on their images.

Furthermore, the appropriateness of some of the influencers was doubted. One of the women employed was former Big Brother star Lina Grant, who is also an ambassador for alcohol company Jacob’s Creek prosecco Spritz. Another person hired by the government to promote the campaign via their social media had previously been criticised for making very racist comments (which she has apologised for since).

Following the revelation, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt ordered his department to cease all payment to social media influencers.

“At my request, the department is pausing and reviewing any use of influencers,” stated Mr Hunt.

“I think that all taxpayers would think there are better ways to see taxpayer funds used than paying social media influencers hundreds of thousands of dollars to boost their Instagram likes.”

“I have an issue with the department having spent taxpayers’ money in this way in the first place. But if they’re going to do it, they need to be a lot more careful about the kind of people that they promote.”

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Days that start and finish by the ocean ????????I’m stoked to be supporting the @GirlsMakeYourMove campaign as I’m such a big believer in getting active with your friends! There’s nothing I love more than jumping in the ocean after a long day, especially when my girl Caitie is with me – she’s been so amazing teaching me how to surf these past few months, and while I still fall nearly as much as I stand up, I absolutely love it and always have so much fun! Last week I got the best wave of my life ~ literally couldn’t wipe the smile off my face all day! ???? ✨????‍♀️ Have you guys tried surfing? Would love to hear your experience! Get inspired and find an activity you love as much as I love to surf ~ follow @GirlsMakeYourMove and check out www.girlsmove.gov.au #GirlsMove #GirlsMakeYourMove #ad ????

A post shared by l u c y l u ???? (@_lucyinthesky) on

As reported by the Daily Telegraph, Lumio did a study on 19 of the influencers that were hired by the Health Department in the ‘Girls Make Your Move’ campaign, and found that only three had engagement levels high enough to be valuable to an advertiser.

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