The field of marketing has always benefited from the use of celebrity endorsements.

From Frank Sinatra’s appearance in Chesterfield cigarette ads in the 1950s to the more recent Terry Crews’ Old Spice commercials today, celebrity endorsements are a way for a brand to give credibility to its image or expand its outreach.

The problem arises when these celebrity endorsements are no longer for consumable products, but for financial products and investments.

Yvonne Tang / DFP Staff

In June of this year, Kim Kardashian posted a paid Instagram story endorsing the crypto token “Ethereum Max.”

She was paid an undisclosed amount, but based on previous reports on how much she charges, the amount for this post that she released to her more than 250 million Instagram followers was probably somewhere in the hundreds of thousands.

As a quick note, practically anyone could make a cryptocurrency token with the words “Bitcoin” or “Ethereum” in it because of a lack of copyright and policing. Legitimate projects that have done this include Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic and others. Ethereum Max, the token Kim K was paid to promote, like the ones just mentioned, has no affiliation whatsoever with Ethereum.

It was later revealed that the so-called Ethereum Max developers, of whom the public had no knowledge of whatsoever, most likely were creating a “pump and dump” scheme. In this scheme, prices of a financial product are boosted with fake recommendations…

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