Frank Belzer

. Jun 30 . 2 min read

Could David Dobrik's sponsorship blunders have been avoided?

When a really disturbing news story about Youtuber David Dobrik broke, we immediately started seeing posts like this. More than a dozen advertisers cut ties with Dobrik immediately after the report emerged. There were some big brands that had contracted with him including HelloFresh, EA Sports, Dollar Shave Club, and Facebook. These brands moved at lightning speed to disavow any relationship with him, and we could almost sense the fear as these very wholesome brands made it clear that they wanted their names nowhere near his nor near the allegations of rape. That is a positive reaction on their part and how we would have expected them to respond.

That said, given our work with influencers we must ask – could anything have been done ahead of time? Is there any way that these brands could have at least had a warning of the potential risk?

Well, although the Kyndex report is exhaustive and intuitive it does not yet have the ability to look into the future with absolute certainty and provide a prediction around criminal behavior. However, that does not mean that it offers no value nor that it would not have added any value as these brands considered their selection of an influencer. Let’s compare the Kyndex report to something we are far more familiar with, the FICO scores that credit reporting agencies like Transunion or Equifax offer to brands.

There is no way that a credit score is 100% predictive of good or bad credit worthiness. There are times when someone with a very good 770 score still defaults on a loan and conversely there are also times when someone with a terrible 630 score establishes a reliable and awesome payment history. But those examples are the exception not the rule. Statistically speaking the risk is far greater with a lower scoring person and far less with a high scoring individual. This is also true when a brand examines a Kyndex score for a potential influencer. Although it is not a guarantee, by identifying other risky behaviors, the Kyndex can help a brand make the tough call and steer away from someone that has a pattern of risky behavior on social media.

When looking at the risks it is virtually impossible to attempt any calculation manually, you would need to look at every post on every platform, you would need to go back years, you would need to have some comparative data and some historical data to understand the real impact and you would of course need to understand the engagement levels and the audiences for any unsavory posts. You simply don’t have the time or resources to do that. The good news is that even the basic Kyndex report that is offered as part of the free Kyndoo subscription provides a simple green, yellow or red rating system that would indicate you might need to take a second look.




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