Monday, January 4, 2010

If the FTC Wants to Keep Bloggers Disclosing, They Need to Fine Kim Kardashian

I'm having some problems connecting the dots about this whole Kim Kardashian $10k per tweet thing. According to Advertising Age digital and a million other sources, she gets paid $10k per tweet (see slide 8 in of online ad rates.) There she is, at the top of's home page. Yet, not only is she not disclosing any material relationship with sponsors, she directly stated on her blog that she is NOT being paid to tweet about Carl's Jr.

So is she or isn't she? And if she is getting paid to tweet about products and not only not disclosing the relationship but lying about it on her blog, why isn't the FTC doing anything about it? Since their revised guidelines pertaining to endorsements and testimonials went into effect on December 1, 2009, every non-celebrity getting so much as a free lip balm in exchange for blogging about it must go to great lengths to clearly disclose what the FTC is calling a "material relationship."

The FTC needs to realize that their reaction to her non-disclosure will set the tone for whether or not these new guidelines will be taken seriously or not. There could not be a more perfect case for them to use as an example; we're talking big money here, and a clear intent on Kim Kardashian's part to deceive people into thinking that she's only tweeting about Carl's Jr. because the salads are so orgasmic. Isn't this the exact thing these guidelines are supposed to be protecting consumers against? Shit, I've never heard of Carl's Jr. but if I go out of my way to find one because their salads are so legendary that a "celebrity" feels compelled to tweet and blog about them because they're THAT good...and they're not? I'm pretty sure the FTC owes me $11,000.

Seriously, though, I feel strongly that bloggers should be disclosing and if the FTC lets this slide, they're sending a really bad message and basically giving their go-ahead to totally ignore the regulations they seemed to care so much about mere months ago.

*Totally unrelated but I just upgraded to the newer version of Blogger and there appears to be no spell check. HOW can that be right? So sorry if this post is riddled with spelling errors; without spell check I'm lost--even though I was an English major.

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