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The Test and Trace Influencer Campaign

According to Fact Check, £63,000 was spent on the Test and Track influencer campaign in December. But, what did it consist of and what was the general reaction?

Throughout August 2020, media outlets reported that influencers promoted the Test and Trace service through Instagram. Let’s re-cap.


The UK governments wider campaign was to promote the NHS Test and Trace service. Through this campaign, the government utilised all forms of TV, radio, social and print. Further, the government also used social media influencers and reality TV stars to reach a younger, wider audience.


Reported by the Sunday Mirror, Love Island stars Shaughna Philips, Chris Hughes and Josh Denzel were among those who promoted the campaign via Instagram. Shaughna’s caption on her Instagram, reminded her audience: “Guys I want to remind you about the importance of Coronavirus testing and that its totally free, quick and is vital to stop the spread of coronavirus.”

Total cost?

The influencer campaign cost £63,000 and had 42 influencers and reality TV stars. This is according to Full Fact, who requested a Freedom of Information Request from the Cabinet Office.

What happened from there?

The campaign strategy brought in mixed reactions from the public and also several news outlets:

  • Some news outlets are reporting that many of the influencers and reality TV stars are failing to social distance, both in the UK and abroad.
  • Other news outlets noted the use of taxpayers money used to promote the campaign.
  • Further, some brought attention to the ASA guidelines that were being followed incorrectly, although this was eventually corrected.
  • Finally, others brought to the attention the impact social media influencers have on young people.

So, how did the campaign perform?

A government spokesperson claimed that the “use of social media influencers has meant over seven million people have been reached.” However, we are not able to confirm if this is the total campaign figure from influencer content alone.

Whilst the influencer campaign is a perfect example of how to reach a younger audience on their phones, the real test is the engagement. Moreover, the measurement of how much of the influencers posts encouraged people to utilise the Test and Trace system.

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