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With virtual influencers, can there ever be true diverse & inclusive representation in the metaverse?

Virtual influencers are taking the metaverse by storm – but is there a tradeoff between creativity and authenticity? In his latest piece for The Drum, Aaron King, senior account director at ITB Worldwide questioned virtual influencers’ role in culture and asked can there ever really be truly diverse and inclusive representation in the metaverse?

As brands charge forward into the metaverse utilizing virtual influencers, the question is how much diversity will be shown? What does diversity look like in the metaverse? How is it going to play out? These are all big questions that the most forward-thinking brands are already tapping into.

We can’t sugarcoat the fact that influencer marketing has a diversity problem. A 2020 study by MSL highlighted that while the BIPOC market today represents over $4.8trn in buying power, there is a 35% racial pay gap between black and white creators specifically – which outweighs the gap in any other industry.

As brands and agencies, we must value social justice and diversify the creators we work with to be able to level the playing field and truly engage these communities. But with the metaverse still in its early stages of development, there’s a big chance that any positive strides being taken in the real world could face a setback if we choose only to engage virtual influencers in the metaverse.

The diversity message can be uncomfortable – but it’s one that we, as an industry, need to be talking about more. Check out Aaron’s full article here in The Drum:

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