Travel company, Hello Darlings, has filed for liquidation as many are still trying to recoup their funds. Now the question of social media marketing has come under the spotlight.
Marketing experts say that while the platforms may not have clear rules, the advertising industry is regulated even online. Many clients who booked with Hello Darlings claim to have heard and seen the brand through the many promoters.
Hello Darlings used many social media marketers to promote their holidays and exclusive packages. And many who booked with the travel company say they were introduced to the brand by its marketing campaign.
However, many never declared overtly their involvement in the business and when tickets were cancelled and refunds were not honoured, many were still promoting the tours.
“We were meant to leave on Friday the 18th. I booked because the influencer vouched for her, saying this was the only company that did refunds,” says one of the victims.
As advertising has evolved over the years the roadside billboard has moved online which began the increase of the average person becoming a marketer. While some may believe the platforms do not have any rules for advertising the industry itself is regulated.
Account manager for Tilt Influence Architects Bongani Mahlungu explains, “The advertising regulatory board has a clear set of rules for social media marketing and essentially protects consumers and there’s ethical conduct. This is across all social media and all members are ethically bound by these rules.”
“The onus is on the influencer to declare if their content was paid. This is to protect the integrity of both the influencer and the advertisers. It also helps the consumer make a more informed decision.”
To date, almost 500 cases of fraud have been reported to police stations across the country with many still hoping that their hard-earned cash can be recouped.
Travelers distraught after Hello Darlings company CEO files for liquidation