weddings

Inside the not-so-pretty aftermath of influencer Marissa Fuchs' viral 'sponsored' engagement.

Viral news stories that are born from social media faux pas and the new breed of It Girls knows as ‘influencers’ tend to burn fast and bright before disappearing into a filtered puff of smoke.

But what really happens to your life after you ‘go viral’? If you look at the aftermath of the most recent social scandal involving a sponsored engagement story, you’ll see that the reward is not always a happy ending.

In June, Marissa Fuchs, a fashion influencer known on Instagram as @fashionambitionist made international headlines when her boyfriend (now husband) Gabriel Grossman whisked her away on a multi-day, multi-continent adventure that resulted in a “surprise” proposal and ended in a seemingly fairytale wedding.

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The general public were invited to watch every little surprise and detail of this engagement journey unfold via Fuchs’s Instagram account, a journey which took the couple from New York to the Hamptons, then Miami and finally to Paris, where the final surprise was a wedding.

With multiple news outlets picking up the story, with headlines such as Is This The Most Lavish Wedding Proposal Ever?, Fuchs gained more than 40,000 new followers on Instagram, going from about 160,000 to almost 200,000 during the course of the proposal.

However, as the ‘showmance’ unfolded online, it quickly became clear that the viral proposal was actually a meticulously planned marketing stunt, with The Atlantic reporting that before the proposal scavenger hunt even kicked off, marketers at many brands and agencies had already received a PDF outlining the future engagement and asking them to express their interest in sponsorship.

From there the headlines turned much more negative and the name of Fuchs’ employer Goop, the company owned by Gwyneth Paltrow, was also called into question over whether or not they had played a role in the sponsored social media circus. It was this line of company thinking that appears to have affected Fuchs role in the company, where she was a director of brand partnerships.

Even though the Goop name was not listed in the official pitch proposal, Fuchs had prominently mentioned that she worked for Goop in her Instagram bio and in her various social media postings. To make matters worse, the first video from the proposal journey took place in the office, where she tagged her fellow Goop employees.

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In a statement provided to BuzzFeed News, Goop’s director of communications, Noora Raj Brown, said the company had not been involved in the proposal and then went on to confirm that Goop had opened an internal “review” into how the proposal was allowed to occur.

“Marissa never received formal approval from Goop for this,” read the statement.  “We do know that she did not go through the proper channels for any such request.”

This, of course, is in stark contrast to what her new husband Grossman has claimed, telling the New York Times “I pre-cleared this at her office, the highest person she would answer to, which is Kim Kreuzberger,” Mr. Grossman said.

“She was really on board, and she was so happy for us. She was like, ‘Absolutely, Marissa can take off.’ I had other friends at Goop handle her scheduling.”

Aside from removing Goop from her Instagram bio, Fuchs has not personally addressed the controversy surrounding her publicity heavy engagement and wedding or made it know whether or not she still works for the company.

But there are a number of clues to be found within her social media accounts and in more recent news headlines that allude to the fact that all may not be well.

Since returning to Instagram following the negative press her engagement received, Fuchs has not mentioned her job or Goop and instead has posted a number of photos paired with captions that hint at the engagement ‘scandal’ and her career issues, without actually providing any new information.

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“We didn’t expect the “for better, for worse” part of marriage to come so quickly but c’est la vie!” she wrote beneath one photo, with another post-reading  “Finally feeling like myself again!!!!!!”

But real life appears not to be quite so rosy for Fuchs as she portrays on Instagram with her name making headlines for the second time in recent weeks.

According to an article that ran on Page Six and was widely picked up by other news outlets, a source claims that Fuchs has “been exiled” following her sponsored engagement story going viral.

Page Six reported that Fuchs had attempted to attend a party hosted by H&M in the Hamptons but according to other people at the event “she wasn’t invited and was turned away, she’s been exiled.”

H&M did not deny that Fuchs had been turned away from the event, but did provide a statement to Page Six that read “This was a very intimate private dinner with a set capacity. We always welcome new friends to the brand and would love to include her in future events.”

While we don’t know for sure if Fuchs still calls Goop home or what this supposed ‘exile’ really entails, it’s clear to see that life doesn’t ever return to normal after finding viral fame.

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