It seems like you can’t turn on a tv, open a magazine, or browse a new site without catching Kim Kardashian in the headlines. The party girl turned business mogul has a strong history of finding her way into the public eye. Whether you like it or not, you likely know about her past relationships, shapewear line, and legal battles.
The latest: Pushing crypto trading on Instagram without abiding by SEC guidelines. Kardashian has agreed to pay a cool $1.26 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission for failing to disclose how much she was being paid to promote the crypto token EthereumMax.
Back in June of 2021, Kim Kardashian shared an Instagram Story, encouraging her 328 million followers to purchase EthereumMax crypto tokens. The story included the text, “This is not financial advice, but sharing what my friends just told me about the EthereumMax token!” Several hashtags littered the post, including “#ad,” but that was not enough to satisfy SEC law.
EthereumMax was met with skepticism from crypto traders due to the overwhelming support it was receiving from celebrities who otherwise didn’t post about crypto markets. While Kardashian is known as a mega influencer in the fashion and beauty world, crypto hadn’t been a hot topic on her social media pages prior to this promotion.
According to SEC Chair Gary Gensler, the law requires celebrities “to disclose to the public when and how much they are paid to promote investing in securities.” It has been reported that Kardashian was paid $250,000 to promote EthereumMax on her Instagram Story. Kardashian did not admit fault but agreed to pay $1.25 million in penalties as well as refrain from advertising crypto-related content for the next 3 years.
Unfortunately, the Kardashian crew has been down this road before. Back in 2016, the Kardashian sisters had a complaint filed against them for failing to disclose when social media posts contained sponsored content and paid promotions. The sisters put forth little effort in resolving the issue, simply adding “#sp” to some posts, meaning “sponsored,” which many argue is not clear to the average user. Their YouTube videos have a small statement at the very end of the video description, usually hidden unless you click “see more.”
With several million followers across all of her social media platforms, Truth In Advertising (TINA.org) Executive Director Bonnie Patten says, “It’s time the Kardashians were held accountable for their misdeeds.”