Love island stars called out for going to Dubai after promoting test and trace ad campaign

Three Love Island stars have been revealed as having been recipients of taxpayers' money for having promoted the Test and Trace ad campaign by UK government.

Fans are furious at the hypocrisy displayed by three Love Islanders who got payed to plug the NHS' Test and Trace campaign only to travel abroad on luxury vacations months later amid the deteriorating sanitary crisis.

42 stars were paid by the NHS

Shaughna Phillips, Josh Denzel and Chris Hughes were among the 42 celebrities and influencers who were payed by the NHS to promote a campaign urging the public to get tested for COVID-19.

And although this might sound like an honourable way of using their platform to spread awareness to a younger audience, many of these influencers have subsequently been posting pictures of themselves jet-setting around the world.

How much were they paid?

Numbers released by the Cabinet Office requested by Full Fact show that, on average, each influencer was paid £1,500 to make a post on instagram with a message telling their followers that testing was 'free, quick and vital to stop the spread.' The exact amount of money that was received depended on the size of each social media star's following. A total of of £63,000 was distributed among the influencers and stars contracted for the campaign.

The Cabinet Office commented:

[to raise] essential awareness of the NHS Test and Trace service and the importance of testing for Covid-19, we have been working with key micro and macro influencers to reach young adults in a channel they regularly engage with, as we also use traditional marketing and advertorials to reach adults via print, radio and TV advertising.

26-year-old Shaughna Phillips made her promotional post to her 1.5 million followers only after she was pictured with friends on a night out in Marbella and, earlier this week, in Dubai. The Love Island star told her followers:

Guys I want to remind you about the importance of coronavirus testing and that it’s totally free, quick and is vital to stop the spread of coronavirus.

And it wasn't only fans that were outraged. Chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, John O'Connell criticized the publicity stunt by saying:

Z-list celebrities should not be paid to push messages which plenty of people have been doing free of charge. If these influencers want to help with the Covid campaign, they should promote the message for free.
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