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Instagram's Shady, Back-Alley, Big-Money Dealings

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Like any high-tech creation, Dom Pérignon P2 reveals itself in high-definition. #domperignonP2 Credits: @jasonmpeterson

A photo posted by Dom Pérignon (@domperignonofficial) on

There's been much talk about the shady dealings within the fashion industry for sponsored Instagram posts and not-so-clearly branded content, but that doesn't make these new findings any less shocking. According to the New York Times, the lengths that brands will go to woo Instagram influencers into posting their content is extreme. Adweek pulled out a few of the best examples:

· Dom Pérignon reportedly gave advertising exec Jason Petersen a first-class ticket to Iceland and $15,000 in spending money in exchange for four photos on his Instagram feed, which has more than 315,000 followers.

· Freelance cityscape photographer Alina Tsvor reportedly struck a deal with Chicago Helicopter Experience after sending the company an email promising at least one photo taken with her iPhone, captioned with the company's name. The 24-year-old freelancer, who has 55,000 Instagram followers, parlayed the deal into free chopper rides for her friends as well.

· Another helicopter company, Blade, struck a deal with New York Maserati dealers to chauffeur its well-heeled customers to Long Island when bad weather grounded its flights to the Hamptons. Many of Blade's 2,600 followers are wealthy execs from the fashion industry and are able to afford a Maserati. Not a penny was exchanged on the deal.

"It was a great deal for us," a Maserati spokeswoman told the NYT. "It was the right people in the cars and it was shared all over Instagram."

· Your Instagram Picture, Worth a Thousand Ads [NYT]
· Inside Instagram's Secret Barter Economy [AdWeek]
· The Dirty Business of Buying Instagram Followers [Racked]
· Designer Puts Alicia Keys's Stylist on Blast Over an Instagram [Racked]