Bloggers Versus the RSA – Chose Your ‘Influencer’ Wisely

Bloggers versus the RSA is the latest scandal to hit the Irish ‘Influencer’ community that has been coming under increased scrutiny of late. If you have yet to hear anything about the RSA Bloggers controversy let me give you a little backstory.

The Road Safety Authority ran a ‘Killer Look’ campaign recently, the sole purpose of which was to highlight the importance of, and to get people to wear their seatbelts correctly. A study showed that out of 300 women aged 17-34, 28% admitted to wearing their seatbelts under their arms.

Idiotic reasons for wearing said seatbelt under their arms were to…..brace yourself…. Relieve neck tension, comfort, to protect their tan or clothing. ARE. YOU. KIDDING. ME?!

To further drive this message and campaign, the RSA enlisted the help of 10 influencers paying a combined sum of €26,138 across them in return for their services, such as Instagram and Facebook posts, Insta stories and Snapchat messages showcasing the importance of wearing your seatbelt correctly.

I remember clearly a host of bloggers and influencers taking part in this campaign and thought it was a great initiative by the RSA. I personally think the above reasons cited for not wearing your seatbelt correctly are ludicrous.

Take this from a girl with large décolletage, it’s not that uncomfortable. I’ll tell you what’s uncomfortable, being sliced in half or losing an arm because of wearing you seatbelt incorrectly in the event of an accident.

Blogger Unveiled, an Instagram account that ‘calls out’ bloggers for misleading followers, for failing to  adhere to the Advertising Standards Authority regulations, boasting a fake following or competition fixing,  has ‘outted’ two influencers part of the campaign for not wearing their seatbelts correctly.

What followed was a furore of disgust from followers online and the RSA had to act, so they asked said influencers to return their fee to the RSA or donate it to charity. Which is great crisis management PR from the RSA.

A statement from the RSA read:

Our message is clear. Don’t use a mobile phone – for any reason when you are behind the wheel of a car. This applies to situations while driving or when stopped in traffic. Similarly, seatbelts should always be worn correctly – there is no excuse. There is never an acceptable time when seatbelts shouldn’t be worn or a time when it is acceptable for them to be worn under the arm. Bloggers and influencers have an added responsibility, as people in positions to influence the behaviour of others, to set a good example and demonstrate the correct behaviour.

Influencer = Role Model

In regards to the bloggers, this just shows how little some of them actually think about their actions and what they post.

I have said this before in my piece about bloggers and the Photoshop debate, so let me quote me,

“If you want to be an influencer and have a following you should remember that you will also become a role model for people. Take that seriously!”

If you take on an ambassador role for a campaign about road safety, practice what you preach, or what you got paid for, and influence people the correct way.

Unfortunately the stats are there to show that it is mostly young women, 35% from the earlier study, who wear their seatbelts incorrectly. These are the same young women who follow these influencers, the same ones who allow them to be paid to be part of such campaigns and the same young women who might very well be influenced by them to not take wearing your seatbelt correctly safely.

It might be time to ask yourself if the influencers you follow are really worth it, are they a good role model to look up to or are they solely in it for the money and lavish lifestyle?

Road safety isn’t a joke, wearing a seatbelt isn’t a joke. It isn’t uncomfortable to the point you need to shove it under your arm or go without.

The death tolls on our roads in Louth are rising, 7 in 2016 and 10 in 2017. There very least you can do is wear your seatbelt, correctly.

Remember it is the Bank Holiday weekend, so to be extra vigilant on the roads. If you are out with friends drinking, have a designated driver, use a taxi service or arrange a lift home and wear your seatbelt.


Twitter: Aweirdheff
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Facebook: AoifeJane
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