For the past several years, there has been a trend with influencers on the Internet where they not only blur the lines between promoting a product but flat out making the lines non-existent (usually with the hashtag “#ad” or them hawking something they dislike but got for free so....FREE! Amirite?). This advertising is not limited to “big name” influencers, either. Relatively small YouTube channels, Instagram accounts, etc. make it their business to promote a particular product they like, and then set up an affiliate link on Amazon within the video desription or in their Instagram bio. The people have become unofficial advertisers. Blogvertisement.
For the most part, I am thinking blogvertisement came to be as a way for the influencer to get around the fact that Google has a iron tight grip on advertising across most of the Internet and that by making the content, itself, the advertisement, these influencers would be able to get paid and not have to worry about their content reaching a certain number of views or likes or whathaveyou in order for them to make direct, immediate money. Afterall, you do not need a certain number of followers to get money from an affiliate link. What is lost, is the authenticity of both the influencers and the company who choses to advertise with them with hopes that somehow all efforts will result in you going to Amazon or a Big Box store and purchasing their product.
Your best bet (as companies lie) is to avoid those companies. And since blogvertisers are complacent, and even participatory in that lie, avoid those influencers as well. I am not sure how many of you are willing to go through your “Following” list on Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter to see who is hawking shit for money and calling it “content” and then unfollowing those who do, but I have already done this purge, and I encourage you to do the same.