'A mysterious marketing agency secretly offered to pay social media stars to
spread disinformation about Covid-19 vaccines. Their plan failed when the
influencers went public about the attempt to recruit them.
"It started with an email" says Mirko Drotschmann, a German YouTuber and
Mirko normally ignores offers from brands asking him to advertise their
products to his more than 1.5 million subscribers. But the sponsorship offer he
received in May this year was unlike any other.
An influencer marketing agency called Fazze offered to pay him to promote what
it said was leaked information that suggested the death rate among people who
had the Pfizer vaccine was almost three times that of the AstraZeneca jab.
The information provided wasn't true.
It quickly became apparent to Mirko that he was being asked to spread
disinformation to undermine public confidence in vaccines in the middle of a
"I was shocked," says Mirko "then I was curious, what's behind all that?"
In France, science YouTuber Léo Grasset received a similar offer. The agency
offered him 2000 euros if he would take part. Fazze said it was acting for a
client who wished to remain anonymous.
"That's a huge red flag" says Léo.
Both Léo and Mirko were appalled by the false claims.
They pretended to be interested in order to try to find out more and were
provided with detailed instructions about what they should say in their
Via Frederick Wilson II.
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics