A Case That Has It All: Kim Kardashian, Twitter, Libel, Cookie Diets... And The New FTC Sponsorship Rules
from the i-want-a-cookie dept
So, basically, the story is that this "cookie diet" supposedly has some fans in Hollywood, and a variety of media have covered the story. Some of those media reports claimed that Kardashian (among many others) were fans of the diet. The Cookie Diet people -- like you would expect -- have a page on their website that links to news coverage, including a story (which they had nothing to do with) that said Kardashian used the diet. At some point, they also sent Kardashian's publicist a box of the cookies.
At some point towards the end of last year, Kardashian saw the link on the website and got upset, posting two Twitter messages saying the following:
- "Dr. Siegal's Cookie Diet is falsely promoting that I'm on this diet. NOT TRUE! I would never do this unhealthy diet! I do QuickTrim!"
- If this Dr. Siegal is lying about me being on this diet, what else are they lying about? Not cool!"
OK. So far we've already got some confusion about whether a link to a news article is actionable, combined with a Twitter libel claim. But then the story gets even more bizarre. You see, there's been a lot of talk lately about Kardashian being the most high profile client of some company that gets people to post sponsored Twitter messages. In fact, reports claim that some companies are paying her $10,000 per sponsored message. This may or may not be true, but if it is true, then the companies paying that money are likely getting seriously ripped off because they don't understand how Twitter works and how follower counts are grossly inflated.
So, what does this have to do with the cookies? Well, the cookie people are noting in the legal filing that Kardashian is paid to promote QuickTrim, but that she failed to note this. How does that become important? Well... you may recall last year's kerfuffle over the new FTC "guidelines" about paid endorsements online. While the cookie people don't specifically bring this up, it's certainly implied that Kardashian's paid sponsorship had something to do with her messages against the cookie people.
It's hard to see either side as being worth defending here, but sit back, grab a cookie and enjoy watching the legal arguments fly.