Unless they desire to remain willfully ignorant, anyone who peruses the most followed social media celebrities knows that there is big money behind many of the messages they send. One of the top earners in this pursuit is Kim Kardashian. One source reports that the reality TV star makes around $500,000 per paid social media post.
When you understand that paying people to post on their social media is one of the least-regulated forms of advertising on the planet, it’s no stretch to imagine that a lot of iffy behavior could be going on. Take Kardashian’s hawking of morning sickness pills Diclegis as a prime example.
When she first promoted said drugs back in 2015, the folks at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration took umbrage at the fact that she promoted these pills for pregnant women without fully disclosing the potential side effects. Given that Instagram has a generous word count for posts, there was pretty much no excuse for not including that kind of information, particularly when she was getting paid to promote the product.
The full text of her sponsored content went as follows:
“OMG. Have you heard about this? As you guys know my #morningsickness has been pretty bad. I tried changing things about my lifestyle, like my diet, but nothing helped, so I talked to my doctor. He prescribed me #Diclegis, and I felt a lot better and most importantly, it’s been studied and there was no increased risk to the baby.”
After the gentle slap on the hand by the FDA, Kardashian deleted her post and reposted a similar ad with more regulation-friendly content.
Two years later, this past April, Diclegis reappeared in Kardashian’s social media stream — even though she wasn’t pregnant. Her second attempt at promoting the product didn’t go over too well. Critics pointed out the sloppy copy-and-paste job in the text and the strangely edited image (showing a Photoshopped shot of her original ad on her phone), among other details.
And then recently, she posted yet another round of promotion for the drug.
Besides the initial lack of disclosure and the princely sums she’s apparently receiving for promoting a product it’s not even clear that she actually used — or has a reason to anymore — others are also crying foul that she’s promoting a product that is controversial, by many measures.
Even though Kardashian was willing to tell her millions of fans that she took the product and that “there was no increased risk to the baby,” Diclegis, which has been around since the 1950s, when it was known as Bendectin, was taken off the market in the 1980s due to an onslaught of lawsuits claiming that it caused birth defects. While the FDA reapproved it as safe for treating morning sickness in 2013 under its new name, the drug is not without concerns.
Even her fans are taking notice. As one commenter put it (punctuation added for clarity): “Kim, cmon, don’t push drugs. You know you have a lot of followers, and these drugs haven’t been around long enough to know long-term defects. I’m a huge fan and love you and your family, and have loved that you all are so healthy, and thought you would be against something like this.”
But as shown by her latest campaign, it seems that Kim Kardashian doesn’t have any concerns about promoting the product.
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