Get ready for some pop-culture publicity regarding false advertising legalities.
Thanks to a diet and detoxification product line, promotional tweeting, some Internet ads and an appearance on a morning news program, four frustrated weight-loss hopefuls in New York filed a false advertising lawsuit against the Kardashians and QuickTrim. According to multiple reports, sisters Kim, Khloe and Kourtney have taken legal action to get their names removed from a multi-million dollar claim.
Reason for the False Advertising Lawsuit against QuickTrim and the Kardashians
The “QuickTrim Four” argue that both QuickTrim and the Kardashian sisters knowingly made false statements about the product line. The customers also admit that they only bought the product because they believed Kim, Kourtney and Khloe wouldn’t lead them astray. After all, Kim tweeted “Our QuickTrim cleanse will be massive! Khloe has already lost so much weight!” – [sarcasm]why would fans think Kim was not telling the truth?[/sarcasm] Moreover, since it’s difficult to fit much into a 140 character missive, there was no disclaimer for the customers to review and consider. (Interesting, social media advertising disclaimers is an issue that the FTC recently tackled in a fact-finding workshop.)
Kardashian Kamp: “Not Our Problem, People”
But if you think the ubiquitous sisters are going to take this lawsuit lying down (Freudian slip), you’re wrong. Despite the fact that Kim and Khloe went on TV to promote the program, and pointed out that:
a) They don’t “just put [their] name on anything,”
b) They “helped develop the product” and
c) It “really works,”
the Kardashians are now saying they’re simply spokespeople who having nothing to do with product development.
If a judge decides that the Kardashians’ public statements and digital proclamations render them more than just product pushers, the move to have their names removed will most likely be rejected and have a significant impact on social media marketing.
Why Affiliate Marketers Should Pay Attention to the Kardashian QuickTrim Lawsuit
If the Kardashian cabal loses, it could have a significant impact on affiliate and Internet marketing, as judges may feel more empowered to apply stricter interpretations of endorsement standards. After all, just this year, the FTC tightened biz op rules to ostensibly protect consumers from fraudulent “turnkey” business and work-at-home opportunities.
A dismissal refusal would most likely have an effect on the number of celebrity endorsements in the future. In fact, the era of celebrity Twitter endorsements could die a slow death — and reality show super-stars may find themselves down one revenue stream.
What’s bad for celebs, though, could be brilliant for affiliate marketers. After all, if celebrities are not as willing to sign up for an endorsement for fear of litigation, it may just level the playing field.