Multibillionaire Democrat presidential candidate Michael “Bloombro” Bloomberg’s attempts to literally buy his way into being as cool and popular of a “bro” as President Donald Trump don’t appear to be working, despite the large number of Instagram influencers who’ve reportedly “sold out” to him for dollar dollar bills, ya’ll.
“The Bloomberg campaign has quietly begun a campaign on Tribe, a ‘branded content marketplace’ that connects social media influencers with the brands who want to advertise to their followers, to pitch influencers on creating content highlighting why they love the former New York City mayor — for a price,” The Daily Beast initially reported last week.
“Mike Bloomberg has contracted some of the biggest meme-makers on the internet to post sponsored content on Instagram promoting his presidential campaign. The Bloomberg campaign is working with Meme 2020, a new company formed by some of the people behind extremely influential accounts.”
According to an update by Mashable published this Thursday, a bevy of so-called influencers have since taken the bait in their quest for more money, money, money.
Here’s just a small sample of the “sellouts” (*Language warning):
Notice how every meme contains the exact same disclaimer, “[A]nd yes this is really #sponsored by @mikebloomberg.”
The problem is that these memes are backfiring on both “Bloombro” and the influencers who’ve chosen to sell out to him.
If you pull up the comments for the latter meme posted above, you’ll find over a thousand mainly scorching comments blasting the influencer, Tank.Sinatra, for being a “sellout.”
“Man you guys really out here letting an on-the-record racist try and buy likeability for an election. Shameful,” one commenter wrote, referencing the controversial remarks Bloomberg made in 2015 in defense of his stop-and-frisk policies.
“I respected you as a page for a long time, but promoting a candidate who’s bio specifically states that his reason for running is out of hatred for our current president is just beyond my tolerance level, I know it’s only one less follower but I gotta say goodbye, sorry man,” another commenter, a clear-cut Trump supporter, wrote.
But not every influencer has “sold out.” Take Josh Ostrovsky, aka “The Fat Jew.”
“They asked me to do it, [but] I said no,” he reportedly wrote in a statement. “I grew up in New York City so I can tell you firsthand, Bloomberg is a colossal s—bag.”
“From the subjugation of minorities through stop and frisk policies to his hardline anti-marijuana stance, dude is a total h–. I’d encourage any meme account owner to take schmoney from basically any brand (and use it to buy sick s— like jetskis and pure bred corgis) because brands are trash and deserve to have their money taken, but this dystopian black mirror simulation is too much for me i now need to be shot into the f—ing sun.”
Among those who have “sold out,” however, are reportedly some members of the left-wing establishment media, or so claims Adam Ellis, a former BuzzFeed contributor.
In tweets posted Wednesday, he accused a current BuzzFeed employee of running sponsored posts on behalf of Bloomberg:
I had to leave BuzzFeed cuz they wouldn’t let me pursue freelance opportunities & sponsored posts on my personal Instagram. So how is it ok for kalesalad, an account run privately by a BuzzFeed employee with 3.5 million followers, to do sponsored posts for a presidential nom? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/HjwtMtykIz
— adam ellis (@moby_dickhead) February 13, 2020
Personal squabbles aside (like the cumulative $100k I had to turn down over the years), this is a HUGE issue for BuzzFeed’s political impartiality. A presidential candidate privately paying an employee to shill for them is WILD.
— adam ellis (@moby_dickhead) February 13, 2020
As demonstrated by some of the comments highlighted earlier, the criticism appears to be bipartisan, with both liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans responding negatively to Bloomberg’s sketchy attempts to become the new meme king (a role currently played by the president).
Speaking with Vox, Rory McShane, a Republican media consultant, argued that the while the notion that all press is good press doesn’t apply in Bloomberg’s case.
“That may apply when you’re running for state legislature and you’re swinging loudly at the gates of Eden, hoping someone will write your name down, but that doesn’t apply when you’re a billionaire,” he said. “Voters don’t like disingenuity. That’s why people don’t like the ads.”
“Trump won everything by spending almost nothing,” Fox News host Greg Gutfeld noted during a discussion Wednesday on “The Five” about Bloomberg’s meme campaign.
The whole discussion may be heard below:
Despite the problems with Bloomberg’s tactics, it doesn’t appear that he intends to switch gears.
“We’re trying to be innovative with how we’re translating the campaign message on social, trying to do it how the internet actually works,” a campaign aide said this week to The New York Times.
“The way Trump’s campaign is run is extremely social first,” the aide continued. “We’re trying to break the mold in how the Democratic Party works with marketing, communication and advertising, and do it in a way that’s extremely internet and social native.”
The president’s campaign does indeed rely a lot on social media promotion. But as noted earlier, the difference is that Trump doesn’t have to pay money to be liked or to have memes about him shared. In fact, he’s too busy sharing memes himself:
This will never get old! https://t.co/u1CzwwIBvE
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2020