The article, which does not feature a byline but is accompanied by an image of influencer Benthe Liem for unclear reasons, says, “We reached out to co-founder Simon Huck and his team at Judy,” linking to the website when you can buy the kits. The article is not labeled as “sponsored content” but links to the online shop three times, and concludes with a liability waiver warning readers they must “understand and agree that Poosh shall not be liable for any claim, loss, or damage arising out of the use of, or reliance upon any content or information in the article.”
The five recommendations in the article are good advice to avoid contracting the coronavirus: wash your hands thoroughly, sneeze/cough into tissues or your elbow, avoid touching your face, don’t use gloves or masks unless you’re sick (advice Kourtney Kardashian has seemingly failed to follow herself when she was spotted wearing a mask at Paris Fashion Week), and listen to guidance from health officials. But using a public health crisis to make money for a friend’s business is extremely opportunistic, and it’s unethical to fail to label the promotion as “sponsored.”
The most expensive kit the company sells costs $250, but the only tools it contains that seem particularly relevant to the current situation are two tiny bottles of hand sanitizer and one travel pack of wet wipes.
The product review website Wirecutter, which is owned by the New York Times, has said of preassembled emergency kits: “We can say with certainty that none of them are worth your money.” The site recommends households save money and maximize resources by assembling their own kits.
On Instagram, members of the Kardashian family have also promoted $129 sweatshirts that read “PLEASE WASH YOUR HANDS” made by Kourtney’s ex-partner Scott Disick’s “affordable luxury brand” called Talentless.
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