Of everyone who just clicked into this post, about 50 per cent of you are excited to see what’s ahead.
The other 40 per cent are pretty sure what I’m about to say is total bullsh*t, but couldn’t resist scrolling past without checking it out first.
Then there’s the 10 per cent of you who are furious. The ones who are twitching at their keyboards right now. Who are so angry I would “clickbait” you with the “stupid” Kardashians and their “ridiculous” social media posts. You hate clicked, and you hate yourself a little bit for that too.
Everyone gather round. I promise you this is not trashy clickbait, but rather an important legal discussion between likeminded academics (ahem, you and me).
Let me explain what’s going on here.
I can inform you there is reasonable grounds to suspect that, perhaps, the youngest Kardashian sister Khloe has actually broken the law with her Instagram pregnancy announcement.
This pregnancy announcement. This one right here:
You see, way back in the mystical year of 2016, when Obama was still President of the United States and we didn’t face the daily urge to stick sharp objects in our eyes, the Kardashians found themselves in a wee bit of a pickle.
A legal letter had arrived on their
gold plated doorstep. It was from not-for-profit organisation Truth in Advertising Inc. It asked them to start declaring when their sponsored posts were, in fact, paid sponsorships. Pretty please.
Arguably, the family was violating rules under the US legal system’s Federal Trade Commission Act.
“We have found that members of the Kardashian/Jenner family are engaged in deceptive marketing campaigns,” the organisation reportedly contended.
“… A plethora of posts do not clearly or conspicuously disclose their relationships with the companies being promoted in the posts as is required by federal law.”
If the Kardashians were A-OK and not breaking any rules, you’d think they’d just toss this document into their
diamond encrusted bin and continue living their best lives. But they didn’t. The opposite happened, actually.
Almost overnight, the Kardashians began throwing around #ad and #sponsored like mother-effing confetti. It became very clear, very fast that whenever ANY brand appeared in their posts, it was there because they had been paid handsomely to include it. And so, reader friends, a rather annoying truth was unearthed: the Kardashians’ Instagram profiles are not really social media platforms, but the world’s most lucrative advertising billboards.
“GET TO THE PREGNANCY ANNOUNCEMENT PART,” I hear the 10 per centers yell.
I am. Oh, I am.
Because the Kardashians have millions upon millions of engaged followers, they’re thought to earn between US$250,000 and US$500,000 per sponsored post. If you ask me (the purveyor of all things good and true), when you can make that many sweet, sweet dubloons, it’s pretty unlikely that a brand would appear just… by chance… on your lucrative advertising billboard/Instagram page.
Well… what have we here?
Ah. Interesting. A Calvin Klein sports bra. Where the brand name is very... visible. You know, by chance. Totally and completely by chance. But also on purpose. Because $$$$$.
It would be naive to think that a Calvin Klein sports bra just moseyed on up to Khloe before her pregnancy shoot and magically appeared on her bust. Let's not be naive, you guys. We're so much better than that.
Within NINE MINUTES of the pregnancy announcement - which at time of publishing has over 3,000,000 likes - these stories surfaced:
What makes this more interesting is that Khloe's half sister, Kendall Jenner, has actually worked with Calvin Klein commercially before. In 2016, she and Justin Bieber were named as the faces of the fashion label's spring campaign.
OH OH OH and did I mention that on December 8, WWD reported that the entire Kardashian/Jenner clan is tipped to be the faces of the Calvin Klein "family" campaign, launching in January?
"While reps for the Kardashians and Calvin Klein Inc. couldn’t be reached for comment this week, the concept fits well with Klein’s Our Family #MyCalvins, an ongoing campaign this season," the publication wrote.
Curiouser and curiouser.
So - was Khloe Kardashian paid for her pregnancy announcement, and did she fail to disclose it according to the Federal Trade Commission Act?
All I can say is that I smell a very rich rat.