bearded man

That male influence

Sir, The power of male influencers has evolved dramatically in the past year: 92% of consumers are more likely to trust an influencer than a traditional ad or celebrity endorsement.

David Gandy is an excellent example of how brands use celebrities, but this male ‘look’ is becoming outmoded: consumers are listening to influencers more because they resonate with their passion points and provide content that is engaging and authentic… it feels like they are speaking directly to them. Influencers are excellent creators of original content and we’re seeing a shift from traditional advertorial brand messages to influencer conversations with consumers, with celebrities chosen for their relevance to the brand or category, not just their appearance or follower count.

Kevin Gessay, MD, PMK•BNC

Spot fraud abroad

Sir, The article on food fraud highlights an important issue. In addition to the financial cost, there are safety and quality issues.

Food and drink obtained by fraudsters will potentially have been stored incorrectly and without traceability documentation. In terms of due diligence and digging around, there is a need to do more, especially for orders from outside the UK. Business intelligence involving local in-language and in-country checks are relatively inexpensive and should be used. The adoption of detailed background checks will help prevent fraud, and publicising such efforts will help to deter fraudsters.

Eoghan Daly, manager, forensic and counter fraud, Crowe Clark Whitehill LLP

A blow to the spirits

Sir, In some retail companies loyalty points no longer appear to count for purchase of spirits - and employees discount cards no longer appear to be valid for purchase of spirits. This is damaging. And puts potentially more out of reach the more exclusive spirits such as the very delightful and also very medicinal Grey Goose vodka.

As an Usdaw shop steward I am passionate about both the interests of retail workers and also customers. Allowing loyalty points and discount cards to also apply to spirits will be good for UK retail.

John Barstow