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The Problem With Lindsay Lohan’s Sponsored Tweets.

Lindsay Lohan has become somewhat notorious for taking money in exchange for tweets recommending a service or product. Now she’s under fire for tweeting in support of a finance company that many consider unscrupulous.

As Lohan’s paid tweets go, sometimes it’s on the level, but sometimes the lines are blurry. Here’s what she’s done, what she’s doing, and why until things change, no one wins in the hazy world of celebrities and sponsored tweets.

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Lindsay Lohan has become somewhat notorious for taking money in exchange for tweets recommending a service or product. Now she’s under fire for tweeting in support of a finance company that many consider unscrupulous.

As Lohan’s paid tweets go, sometimes it’s on the level, but sometimes the lines are blurry. Here’s what she’s done, what she’s doing,  and why until things change, no one wins in the hazy world of celebrities and sponsored tweets.

WHAT HAPPENED?

Earlier this week, Lindsay Lohan took to twitter to sound off on the economy, saying:

“Have you guys seen food and gas prices lately? U.S. $ will soon be worthless if the Fed keeps printing money! http://spn.tw/t1exbE #ad

The tweet led visitors to the National Inflation Association, (NIA) which looks like a non-profit group warning consumer of over-inflation. But dig deeper, and it starts ‘helping’ visitors invest in gold and silver stocks. Marketwatch.com reports that the site’s founders are actually “paid ‘investor-relations specialists,’ which means that in their primary businesses (WallStreetGrand.com for Adams, Lebed.biz for Lebed) they are paid to tout stocks.” In other words, these paid spokespeople hired Lohan to be their higher profile, celebrity spokesperson.

WHAT IS LINDSAY LOHAN’S FOLLOWING? HOW POWERFUL IS IT?

As of this posting, Lindsay Lohan has more than 2.1 million twitter followers. To an advertiser, of course, that’s a great audience. She represents a young, perhaps ‘hip’ demographic. Despite her troubles with drugs and alcohol, there are many fans that don’t care – perhaps even like her more – for her party lifestyle and ‘who cares’ attitude. Still others just like to feel connected to a celebrity.  So when Lindsay says she likes something – there’s a good chance that people are going to check it out. But can a consumer trust that what she’s touting is something she really believes in … or is even a safe transaction, for that matter?

WHAT’s LINDSAY’S REPUTATION FOR PUSHING PRODUCTS?

Lindsay Lohan seems to have established herself as a tool for just about anyone willing to pay her. Her ‘seal of approval’ seems contingent on payout.

Earlier this month she received more than $35,000 for shooting a 15 second promo/ad for an online auction site. The ad was shot with no professional audio or lighting. It was cheap, it was easy money. And she had to do it from home because she was on house arrest.

Back in December she was reportedly tweeting for a Gift Card site. She’s tweeted for diet aids and fashion websites, with paychecks reportedly ranging from 3,000 to 10,000 a tweet. Earlier tonight she tweeted about a website pushing muffin gift baskets. I’m serious!

The problem is, it’s hard to tell what is a real endorsement and what is just something she truly likes. In the case of the NIA tweet, she did put the hashtag “#AD” next to the tweet) … In the case of the others, I suspect they’re all paid endorsements – if she gets paid for SOME of her endorsement tweets, then why would she just ‘give’ others away? She just lost that company as a potential advertiser! Product spokespeople as a rule don’t endorse products unless they’re being paid for it.

HOW COMMON ARE PAID TWEETS?

They are a rapidly growing business. With the dawn of twitter and facebook have emerged corporations that will actually match regular people to appropriate advertisers. Many of them are completely on the level, following FTC guidelines. (more on that below.) You don’t have to be a celebrity to get paid to tweet. A company could pay anyone with a high number of followers – anywhere from five dollars a tweet to thousands of dollars. In the case of celebrities, these companies go to the star’s agent or management (or the celeb themselves) directly. That’s where it gets shady.

SHOULD WE CUT LINDSAY SOME SLACK?

On one hand, I think Lindsay has had her share of struggles, and I’m sure her finances aren’t what they used to be. She’s not getting any acting work right now. I sympathize in a sense that she’s trying to make a living. (Although I also believe she got herself into this mess.)

The trouble is, she is starting to develop a reputation for not being the most discriminating when it comes to her endorsements. It’s one thing to talk about muffins, clothes, subjective things… but public policy, the economy… she may be getting in over her head.

HOW DOES THIS EFFECT HER REPUTATION AS A WHOLE?

When Lindsay appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno recently, she claims she needs “to work to gain back the trust of the industry.” She should be doing the same with regard to her fans.  I think people want to give her a chance to recover and ‘rise again’ so to speak – as an actress. Part of that is not trying to pull a fast one and give the impression that she’s insincere about what she says.

I think she has to be careful… she may get herself into a situation where she is truly tweeting about something she knows nothing about – something that could be offensive to some of her fans, or lead them to make bad business decisions. When she decides to get political, she’d better truly know the background on what she’s tweeting. She walks a slippery slope if she decides to tweet about things she is not educated about.

DO WE NEED TO REGULATE TWEETS?

Since 1980s it has always been a requirement to be clear when something is a paid endorsement. That policy has continued into the digital age with the dawn of the internet. This goes for not just paid income, but also a steady stream of free merchandise from a person or company you mention online. But it’s very difficult to monitor.

When we see a TV commercial, when we see a magazine ad, there’s a very clear message that the person appearing in that ad has been compensated for their appearance. On twitter, it’s a gray area. We don’t always know what’s a paid statement. (Although in this case it seemed rather obvious to many of her followers) We have to find somewhere to draw the line.  I believe that when a celebrity is endorsing a product – even on twitter – whether it’s perfume, a restaurant, anything – it should be stated clearly in that tweet that it’s a paid endorsement.

For example: what if she were to endorse a prescription drug on Twitter? (yes – it’s a stretch – but consider the regulations that accompany such commercials) When you are paid to endorse a drug, that has to be clear. Any kind of drug promotion requires the listing of side effects… and we can all say “oh that would never happen, she’d never endorse something like that, and no company would ask her to” – but if there’s anything we’ve learned in the past ten years is that we can no longer take people at face value. As sad as it is, we really have to second guess a lot of the messages coming at us and who’s behind them.

In short…

Until there is a clearer way of defining what is an ad and what is a true recommendation within social networking, celebrities are not doing themselves, nor their fans, any favors. In this case, some of Lohan’s followers called her out on what they suspected was nothing more than a tweet for cash. In some ways, this backlash brought the story into the spotlight. As far as I’m concerned, if a celebrity is going to encourage people to act on their tweets, they should be ready to be held accountable for the results.

 

Celebrities

Amber Riley Performs Beautiful Tribute To Naya Rivera On ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’

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RIP.

Whenever Amber Riley and Naya Rivera combined their insurmountable talents on the hit show Glee there was an almost tangible magic that left fans in awe of the powerhouse duo. Playing Mercedes Jones and Santana Lopez respectively, the two characters may not have always seen eye to eye but when they joined you knew you were in for a memorable performance. It is sad to think that we will never get another “River Deep, Mountain High” or “The Boy Is Mine” moment after Rivera’s passing last month but there is something special in knowing Riley will carry the torch for her fallen costar forever.

On Thursday night introduced by guest-host Lil Rel, Riley virtually appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live!  to perform a new song from her EP entitled “A Moment” which was dedicated to Rivera. “Not too long ago we both lost a really amazing friend in a tragic accident and we both will miss her forever,” said Lil Rel. The performance is displayed in black and white and features Riley singing in front of a montage of photos of her former co-star. It is truly stunning.

Check out the tribute below.

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You Will Have Hearts In Your Eyes When You See Cardi B’s New Hair Do

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Wait till you see her WAP (Wonderfully Artistic Pigtails)

Cardi B has never shied away from a bold look and her latest hair do is proof of that.

The 27-year-old “WAP” singer…song of the year IMO…took to Instagram Tuesday night to show off her pink, heart-shaped pigtails and people are loving the look. In the short video Cardi asks fans if they would “go to the club with your hair like this” and I think we can all agree that this look would definitely turn heads at the clurb.

The artistic hair do was crafted by Cardi’s long time longtime stylist Tokyo Stylez and took at least three hours to complete. Fans commented about how beautiful the unique hairstyle is but questioned how the rapper was going to sleep that night. Let’s hope those pigtails can be twisted off and be thrown on the nightstand.

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Check It Out, Joe Jonas Has Shocked His Fans With His New Look

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I’m a sucker for his new do.

It doesn’t matter if you are more of a “Nick” or a “Kevin” or a “Joe” when it comes to loving the Jonas Brothers. All that matters is that you all agree with me that Joe is obviously the most attractive of the three brothers and that’s just a fact. I’m sorry but I don’t make the rules.

The 31-year old stunned fans today earlier today when he debuted a shocking new look on his Instagram. Sporting a black t-shirt and those signature dark, furry-Murray eyebrows, Joe flashed his new platinum blond buzzcut. I know I might be in the minority here but I do love when these Hollywood hotties switch it up and do the blond thing. I loved it on Adam Levine. I loved it on Zac Efron. I even found myself oddly drawn to the OG platinum stud, James Michael Tyler aka Gunther from Friends.

Credit: Instagram

Perhaps the new do is a part of Joe’s daddy-makeover as he and his wife, Sophie Turner, recently welcomed their first child, Willa. A source told ET “Sophie and Joe have named their daughter Willa. The couple’s bond has gotten even stronger since the addition of their daughter. Although circumstances are different right now because of the [coronavirus] pandemic, Joe was there for the birth of his daughter. The couple is happy they now have time to spend at home with their daughter and get used to their new life together.”

Be still my heart.

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