Influencers say a talent-management firm took $299 ‘deposits’ up front but failed to deliver on promises and didn’t refund them

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When looking for a talent manager as an influencer, there's a lot to watch out for. And there are some red flags influencers should be wary of.

My colleague Sydney Bradley reported this week that the management firm IQ Advantage took $299 "deposits" up front from influencers and promised to help grow their Instagram accounts and get brand deals.

But 13 influencers told Sydney that the firm failed to deliver on its promises and then didn't give back their deposits.

"I've probably hit them up like three or four times since, just asking for the money back," one influencer said.

When Sydney started asking questions, IQ Advantage shut down.

Industry experts said the type of deposit IQ Advantage took isn't standard and should have been a red flag.

But they also said it wouldn't be the last dubious agency to focus on micro influencers who are trying to break into the industry.

Check out the full story here. 

Leaked Fashion Nova campaign briefs reveal what it's offering to pay influencers for sponsored content

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The edgy fast-fashion brand Fashion Nova has grown in the last few years by partnering with influencers.

But some insiders say the brand has lowball pricing on sponsored content and an emphasis on "gifting" that feel out of step with the current marketplace.

I spoke with five talent managers and agents who work with influencers to learn what campaign asks and rates Fashion Nova has offered recently. 

Here's what they said: 

  • One example of a brief sent to an influencer with over 100,000 Instagram followers asked for multiple posts for no cash payment.

  • Several agents said it wasn't just the pricing that bothered them, but the contract terms as well.

  • Two agents said Fashion Nova included the term "perpetual usages" in the contract agreement, which gives the brand the right to use and repurpose the content in perpetuity.

"It's not just a low fee," one agent said about Fashion Nova's influencer deals. "It's also so many posts, and they want the rights to the content. Honestly, it undervalues the marketplace." 

Read more on Fashion Nova here.

How TikTok has impacted different industries from music to retail to cybersecurity in 2020

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TikTok has dominated headlines and has repeatedly been mentioned in investor and analyst calls this year.

Execs at Netflix, eBay, and Spotify have all spoken with investors about TikTok.

My colleague Dan Whateley broke down some key takeaways from a review of hundreds of interview transcripts.

One CEO even had to address TikTok trolling.

"During the lockdown, we've also been part of an organized TikTok campaign by a small group of teenage influencers who have been spamming certain apps such as video conferencing and homework apps with one star ratings and reviews," Life360's CEO Chris Hulls said on an earnings call in April.

Here are some of the companies that have discussed TikTok with investors and analysts this year:

  • Advertising: Publicis Groupe, WPP

  • CPG: McCormick & Company, Reckitt Benckiser

  • Cybersecurity: Intrusion, Cloudflare, WISeKey

  • Finance: PagSeguro Digital, SoftBank Group

Read the full post here.

More creator industry coverage from Business Insider:

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This week from Insider's digital culture team:

TikTok
TikTok.

TikTok has accidentally recreated the most annoying part of Twitter with its 'Stitch' function

TikTok's new "Stitch" function allows users to add their responses to other videos.

The feature is similar to Twitter's quote retweets, a feature that has been criticized for making Twitter seemingly meaner.

Palmer Haasch from Insider wrote that the new TikTok feature has brought "Prompt Twitter," where people respond to questions, to TikTok.

Prompt Twitter can flood your timeline with responses to an arbitrary question.

Stitch videos could fall into similar pitfalls because of the app's algorithm.

Read the full post here.

More from Insider: 

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TikTok star Bella Poarch.

Here's what else we're reading: 

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