A little U.S. marketing firm has been caught seemingly offering to pay TikTok users $300 to post anti-Scott Morrison content on the platform.
A writer at Crikey received the offer via an unexpected email from Vocal Media, a U.S.-based marketing agency who have previous working with left-leaning political organisations.
“Paid TikTok Opportunity: Australian Labor Party”, the email’s headline stated. The email asks for the user to post a TikTok video “to create awareness on our overarching theme, that Scott Morrison is too slow and always late.”
The email elaborates by asking that the video specifically focuses on the Prime Minister’s “slow and late response on vaccines, pandemic response, climate change, bush fires, and financial support for Victoria during the pandemic.”
A linked document with the email expressed the goals for the creator: “This campaign aims to help shift the political discourse on TikTok (…) This goes to his essential character as someone who isn’t quick to care, and instead waits until it gets really bad to do his job.”
Vocal Media asks the creator to pitch a video based around the aforementioned theme. “Get creative — please avoid standard speaking to camera videos unless it is aligned with your normal content strategy. Feel free to jump on trending sounds or filters,” it states.
Once the first draft of a video is shared and accepted, Vocal Media says it will then post and pay them within 30 days.
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As Crikey points out, the brief doesn’t mention making a political authorisation or disclosing that this content is sponsored, which brings with it serious repercussions: failure to authorise political content is a breach of election laws and can result in a penalty for up to $26,640 for an individual according to the Australian Electoral Commission.
Vocal Media haven’t yet responded to request for comments about their email. The strategy makes sense though when you consider that TikTok videos with hashtags such as #scottmorrison can often bring in millions of views.