Social & Influencers

‘A solution to a problem that doesn’t exist’: Some marketers aren’t bullish on influencer hacking insurance

Startup Notch offers protection to creators that some are skeptical they need.
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Illustration: Francis Scialabba, Photo: Instagram

4 min read

Sure, social media accounts are getting hacked more and more often these days. But does that mean influencers need insurance in case their accounts—which are sometimes their main source of income—get hacked?

One company argues yes. Notch, an insurance startup that claims to protect creators in this exact situation, rolled out in June. While it covers up to $100,000, or three months’ worth of income for any influencer with a hacked account, it doesn’t cover account suspensions or social media platforms going down. Notch also claims to offer crisis management for those who are insured.

The startup has released data saying that 85% of influencer marketers it surveyed would pay more for an influencer with social media insurance. But some marketers are skeptical, arguing that hacking schemes interfering with influencer campaigns are rare.

Once in a blue moon

Rafael Broshi, Notch’s co-founder and CEO, told Marketing Brew that if a large company with “a lot of brand integrity” is working on a campaign with an influencer who gets hacked, that “could cause very, very big damage to the brand itself in terms of reputation.”

“Like any other deal in the business world, you don’t back a company, or you don’t do business with a company, without making sure they have their certificates of insurance,” he continued.

But in Matt Zuvella’s six years of experience managing creators, he’s only had about two or three hacking incidents. Each time, the VP of marketing at influencer talent agency Famepick said, it was either because the influencer gave their password to someone else, or because the person bought followers.

Brendan Gahan, Mekanism’s partner and chief social officer, said he hasn’t had an influencer’s account get hacked during a campaign in his entire career. Gahan argued that the odds of getting hacked are relatively minimal, making the odds of one happening during an influencer campaign even smaller.

“In terms of triaging and the things you’re fearful of going wrong on a campaign, this is pretty low on the list,” he told us. He also said whether an influencer has insurance or not would not be a deciding factor for him.

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But as anyone who’s ever opted out of a skydiving trip knows, not everyone has the same level of risk tolerance. While Doron Faktor, group director, connections, social media at VMLY&R New York & Miami, admitted that in his 20-year career, he’s only seen an influencer hacked during a campaign roughly three times, he said Notch could give some influencers a competitive advantage.

Some brands, he said, would likely be happy to pay a little extra for the peace of mind that comes with knowing an influencer is insured against hacking. Why? Because hacking could become more frequent as more people become influencers than ever before. “I do feel like there is more of a chance currently than there was before,” Faktor told us.

He suggested that this type of insurance could make brands more comfortable dipping a toe into influencer marketing. “There’s all sorts of brand-safety issues that go along with working with influencers. We find it’s sometimes quite hard to get around that,” Faktor said. “This is just an extra level of safety for the brand.”

Looking ahead

Other forms of insurance coverage could perhaps be more useful for influencer marketers. Gahan said he would like to see some sort of production insurance for influencers shooting risky content, like prank videos. He added that insurance for brand accounts could be useful as well.

If Notch covered account suspensions, Zuvella said, it’d be more useful—influencer accounts getting suspended during campaigns happens rather frequently in his experience. “That happens once a week for us,” Zuvella shared. Gahan also noted that he has seen account suspensions happen with far greater frequency than hacks.

“It seems like such a narrow use case,” Gahan explained, adding that while more insurance and professionalism in the influencer marketing space is welcome, he doesn’t find this specific coverage especially helpful. “I think they would really need to broaden the scope of what it covers for it to be something that we would insist upon,” he continued.

“They found a solution to a problem that really just doesn’t exist,” Gahan said.

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