Health Minister Greg Hunt has called for a inquest into the funding of the Girls Make Your Move fitness campaign, after a Daily Telegraph investigation found over $600,000 of taxpayer money has been spent commissioning Instagram influencers to promote the initiative.

The campaign, which has the stated goal of encouraging physical activity among women, came under scrutiny from the newspaper after it commissioned influencers who’ve also promoted alcohol products and questionable diets like intermittent fasting.

Data analytics firm Lumio also claims that only a handful of the influencers contracted by the Department of Health had audiences large and engaged enough to effectively spread the Girls Make Your Move message.

In response to those findings, a spokesperson for Hunt said “The Minister does not ­endorse these posts,” and confirmed he “has launched an immediate ­review of the use of these ­influencers.”

The spokesperson also said the advertising firm used to commission the influencers was no longer contracted by the government.

So I know there is nothing more annoying than your mum telling you to go walk the dogs and do the dishwasher. But since I’ve moved out of home it is actually one of the things I miss most (not the dishwasher – I’ll always hate the dishwasher). We would take the pups down to the beach or through the neighbourhood on a Sunday and get a coffee and although it was a beautiful location it was actually a tough walk. You don’t notice it though when you’re in good company and it makes your day so much nicer when you move your body a bit. So grab a friend/family/dog/cat/rabbit/snake/croc (whatever your preference) and go for a walk! I am a supporter of the @girlsmakeyourmove campaign that inspires girls to be more active! For more information, visit www.girlsmove.gov.au ❤ #girlsmove #girlsmakeyourmove #ad

A post shared by Sammy Robinson (@sammmyrobinson) on

Despite the gargantuan amount of cash thrown at influencers over the past 18 months of the Girls Make Your Move campaign, the use of emerging accounts may not actually be a terrible idea.

Research (admittedly led by a influencer agency HelloSociety) has shown that commissioning niche influencers with smaller followings may provide tangible benefits to brands and causes, regardless of how many eyeballs their messages actually reach.

It also seems likely that young folks would be more open to exploring a new physical activity after seeing an Instagram post from someone they admire, than a similarly-expensive ad presented in a more traditional medium.

In its defence, a Health Department spokesperson told The Daily Telegraph that the use of influencers was part of “a broader communication strategy” that didn’t rely solely on social media posts.

At the very least, we know Hunt experienced an elevated heart rate as a result of this whole ordeal.

Source: The Daily Telegraph
Image: @taramilktea / Instragram