Reality-TV star Scott Disick inadvertently exposed the inner workings of celebrity sponsorships in one poorly executed Instagram post on Thursday (May 19). The socialite made famous by his ties to the Kardashian family shared an image of himself, a protein shake, and a copy-and-pasted caption that highlights everything that’s wrong with endorsements on social media.
The post has since been deleted, but a screenshot remains on Twitter:
Not only was Disick’s copy-and-paste job embarrassing, but he failed to mention that he was being paid to promote the product, even though federal regulators require it.
Retailer Lord and Taylor came under fire last year for tapping 50 fashion bloggers to promote the same dress without disclosing that they were given the dress and money in return. When Kim Kardashian promoted an anti-morning sickness drug on Instagram, she did say she was “partnering with” the drugmaker (not exactly the clearest disclosure), but didn’t mention the pills’ risks. For that, drugmaker Diclegis got a slap on the wrist from the Food and Drug Association, and an order to take down the post (pdf).
Shortly after the copy-and-paste fail, Disick corrected his mistake. He reposted the ad on Instagram without the sponsor’s instructions, and labeled as an #ad. But the damage had already been done. “Do you even drink the stuff,” one commenter mused. Few people, it seems, were moved by the endorsement.