Written evidence submitted by Billion Dollar Boy Limited







Billion Dollar Boy is a next generation creative agency born in London, harnessing the collective power of thousands of global vetted influencers and creators. We are one of the world’s largest agencies specialising in this field. We were founded to specialise in influencer marketing, and we view it as a discipline, not an add-on. We run domestic Campaigns in the UK and global Campaigns in 38 countries - for our valued clients, who are some of the world’s biggest multinational brands. We are delighted to submit evidence to the DCMS Committee, as part of our efforts to champion the growth and development of the influencer marketing industry (which we believe is one of the UK’s most diverse and talented industries). Indeed, we would be very happy to have the opportunity to provide any further evidence the DCMS committee may seek, on any aspect of the influencer marketing industry, and take part in any efforts to further open the conversation around this topic - which we feel is an integral part of 21st century British culture, and one in which the UK is a global leader. 



From the word-of-mouth advice of parents, friends, acquaintances and colleagues, to the culture-leading influence of politicians, celebrities, publications and more.

With the advent of the internet, and subsequently modern social media, this phenomenon entered a new chapter - democratizing media access, by opening it up to large swathes of people, and also enabling already influential people with existing offline social networks to reach a far greater one online. 

Social media networks have provided everyone with the tools to become self-publishing powerhouses with their own editorial voice. 

Those to amass followers vary from traditional celebrities, to previously unknown personalities, artists, and businesses.

These individuals regularly post content that resonates with an audience and can be found across all walks of life, covering wide passion points and varied verticals from Fashion & Beauty to Food & Drink, Family, Design and Automotive. They have built a reputation for their knowledge and expertise on their topic of choice and amassed followers as a result.

With their significant online audience they are all, by definition, social media influencers.

Critics of influencer marketing tend to rest on the assumption that “influencers” are all reality TV stars or inauthentic lifestyle talent, out for a quick pay-check.

This may be the case for some - but a better lens with which to view the influencer space is to compare the influencer world to traditional press.

Where reality TV stars are your tabloids; personal trainers are your fitness magazines; and chefs are your food publications. They reach the same demographics.

Real, authentic, and informed voices fill the space - you just need to know where to look!

We don’t recognise “influencer culture” as a term: it’s an integral part of 21st century culture & discourse.  

For clarity, we would consider an “influencer” to be anyone with a social media following of over 1,000 followers.








The vast majority of influencers have never had a brand deal. They create content for the thrill of people liking it. You can also look at platforms like YouTube & blogs where the vast majority of content is built around search & providing useful information back to internet users.

The social platforms would not exist as the vibrant cultural communities that they are without influencer marketing enabling these talents to turn their creative work into a living. At last, creative talent are being paid a living wage, which has in turn has accelerated the opportunities for creative talent and the creative industries to make money doing something that is also culturally and socially influential - it’s an amazing opportunity for so many gigging comedians, artists, film makers, potters, bakers. At last, creative talent are having their work seen & amplified, and taking their career into their own hands - without having to wait to see if they’ll ever be “discovered”.

The UK has the most forward thinking and vibrant influencer advertising market in the world & yet it is misunderstood, slandered by journalists jealous of the viewership, and more heavily regulated than any other.

There is of course a lot of cross-pollination between influencer culture and advertising, and consumerism in the positive - not derogatory - sense. The appeal of traditional celebrity endorsements has waned (where the celebrity often didn’t - sometimes obviously - even use the product being promoted), in the face of consumers looking for genuine opinions, recommendations and thought-leadership from the Influencers they follow. Although some Influencers do collaborate with brands, the emphasis - for well-executed influencer partnerships - is very much on collaboration; that is to say, Influencers who have genuinely and organically engaged with a brand make the best collaborators, as the way they talk about and promote the product will be the most authentic.  Influencers can also be educators, and also legitimate creators in their own right - offering advice and expertise to their followers, pertaining to their own personal brand and experience (such as well-known dermatologists or skincare experts, with large social media followings, who are able to dispense first-hand, empirically sound wisdom).  Social media arguably offers anyone with a point of view and/ or expertise in a particular area a platform to “influence” - which also, as mentioned, serves to democratize the media industry.


We are not quite sure what you mean by tech companies, as this is very broad. So we have broken this down into Social Media Companies & Influencer Tech Businesses.


Social Media Companies


E.g. platforms, FB, IG, YT, TikTok etc. - their whole raison d’etre is arguably influencing and making us all “influencers”, and they provide everyone with the tools to share and interact with audiences, ranging from friends and family, to thousands or even millions of taste acolytes. 


Influencer Tech Businesses


Tech companies and data-led agencies such as ours are arguably disrupting the advertising industry itself, by helping make influencer marketing, among other things, a powerful tool for targeting ever more specific audiences, heightening content engagement and make the process seamless both for influencers and brands, by sophisticated Campaign tracking, reporting and measurement.

We are happy to provide further insight on this point, with further clarity on the question.