One influencers’ scandal is another brand’s campaign! Scoot has jumped into the Daryl Yow plagiarism controversy brewing in Singapore by indirectly referring to Yow in a post on Instagram.
To give you some context, Daryl Yow is a popular Singapore-based photography influencer (104k followers) who has collaborated with top brands like Sony, Oppo, and UNIQLO, among many others. He came under fire from his followers and other influencers after Mothership.SG found several photos in Yow’s Instagram feed that look uncannily similar to stock photos or other photographers work.
Below are images under question from Daryl Yow profile:
Scoot reused a ‘plagiarised’ image from Yow’s profile of Mykonos, Greece and then superimposed a cut-out silhouette with a caption “insert self here (for real)”. In the guise of poking fun at the influencer, Scoot managed to promote the Athens 1st anniversary (and Berlin inaugural launch) ticket sale which their audience loved as this post has 5.1k likes, 2988 shares, and 837 comments till date.
And that’s not all, the internet being the internet has adopted a #darylaidenchallenge (about 275 posts already) where they photoshopped themselves into stock or plagiarised images.
This whole saga has become a good lesson for brands and influencers alike. The audience appreciates story-telling in marketing especially for a young, peppy, travel-centric brand and people respond to brands sharing a laugh with them. Also, brands should actively engage with each other on social media and take risks even if they may seem bold- as they say any PR is good PR!
As for influencers, it’s important to remember that repurposing content and plagiarizing them are quite different and one of them will tarnish your reputation and ring alarm bells for your customers. Repurposing can involve building on existing content and changing their purpose and usage while creating something distinct from the original. And even then giving credit where it is due is a best practice.
Sony Singapore, one of the brands Daryl has worked with, has responded to the controversy stating: “We are surprised and disappointed with what has been reported and are currently looking into this matter. Sony strongly encourages the art of creativity, however, we do not condone any action such as plagiarism and take a serious stance on it.”
As for Daryl Yow, he has since posted an apology on an Instagram post saying that the outrage against him was “justified”, and that he accepted “full responsibility” for his actions.
“I was wrong to have claimed that stock images and other people’s work were my own,” said Mr Yow. “I was also wrong to have used false captions that misled my followers and those who viewed my images.”
“Having marketed myself as a photographer, I fell far short of what was expected of me and disappointed those who believed – or wanted to believe – in me. For all of that, I apologize.”
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