Stars have long padded their wallets with endorsement deals. Land a cosmetic contract or become the face of a sneaker line and a big paycheck will follow. Increasingly, these deals include social media promotion. And Twitter — a unique way for celebrities to connect directly with fans — is fast becoming a wild west of advertiser-sponsored posting.
Signature9 blogged about the phenomenon of the “contractually obligated tweet” last week, noting that Kim Kardashian’s “deal for Reebok Easy Tone sneakers has her tweeting pics of her wearing the shoes at the gym saying ‘I love my Reebok Easy Tones’ and even including a link to buy them. She also recently tweeted ‘Where is there a Carl’s Jr in the valley? I’m seriously craving that salad!’”
A screengrab of one of Kim’s Carl’s Jr. Tweets (which is not marked as advertorial) via Jessica Gottlieb.
The Carl’s Jr. Tweeting caused quite a flap, as Kim was recently featured in a Carl’s Jr commercial as a spokesperson. She took to her personal blog to deny that she was paid to Tweet about their product. Kim’s per-Tweet fee is reportedly $10,000; if the Tweet was sponsored and she did not disclose this, she could be fined by the Federal Trade Commission.
A screengrab of one of Kim’s recent advertorial Tweets via the reality star’s Twitter feed.
Kim, alongside sister Khloe and other big names like Lindsay Lohan, will post ads to their stream in exchange for payment. Lindsay’s per-Tweet fee, according to Sponsored Tweets, is $2,985.80. Bloggers recently came under fire for not mentioning gifts or payment in exchange for coverage, and now many disclose such information in their posts. Twitter, a medium that celebrities have embraced–and that provides a seemingly authentic way to talk to followers–needs more regulation.