Gun reform organization Change the Ref exposes 'bad influencers'

The group wants to blow up an advertising loophole that gun companies have been taking advantage of.

Gun reform organization Change the Ref exposes 'bad influencers'

In its newest campaign, gun reform organization Change the Ref is challenging firearm companies that have been skirting the rules to advertise on Instagram via influencers.

The "Bad Influencer" campaign, done in partnership with Alma and DDB, is trying to bring attention to who is actually behind these Instagram influencer posts that have been making guns appear sexy.

It consists of reposting pictures of influencers promoting guns with one small - but important - difference. 

Instead of tagging the usual pro-gun company accounts (which in turn can redirect visitors to pages where they can actually purchase firearms), the initiative is tagging Instagram accounts honoring those killed in mass shootings across the country instead.

The campaign’s goal is to bring attention to gun companies that are bypassing advertising restrictions, as well as shame influencers who participate in such efforts. 

It has been successful at stirring up debate on either side of the aisle, with some agreeing that the shady practice needs to stop, and others arguing that it's business as usual. 

Regardless, Change the Ref’s message is clear: Shady advertising needs to be exposed and stopped.

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