Celebrity brand influencers have become a major marketing tactic in recent years. But the problem with influencers? They’re only human. So they make mistakes … and cheat. And as one influencer recently learned, sometimes cheating can result in being sued.
Caught on Tape!
Sometimes it’s hard to catch influencers violating contracts. For instance, who knows if DJ Khaled really chews Stride Gum or Trident? No one’s going to check his pockets or taste-test his ABC gum. But mobile phones are trickier, and one Samsung influencer just got caught.
Reality TV show host and politician Ksenia Sobchak is a hired influencer for Samsung in Russia, and is required by contract to use a Samsung smartphone. It’s been reported multiple times that she has been seen using an iPhone, but this time, Sobchak was caught on a television interview using an iPhone X. Gotcha!
Samsung Isn’t Turning a Blind Eye
This isn’t the first time an Android influencer has been caught using an iPhone. After all, celebrities use their iPhones far too often to never get tripped up if cheating on this one. Usually the phone companies let it go, but Samsung is not. The company has terminated its contract with Sobchak, claiming breach. And there are rumors Samsung is suing Sobchak for $1.6 million, which would undoubtedly be much higher than her influencer paycheck, but perhaps there are penalties involved.
Other Influencer iPhone Breaches
Not to poke too much fun at celebrities, but they sure do have a knack for using their iPhones while being paid as an influencer by other brands. Tennis player David Ferrer sent an influencer tweet to promote the Galaxy S4, but the message had the “via Twitter for iPhone” tag at the bottom of it. D’oh! A similar tweeting incident happened with movie star Gal Gadot when she was tweeting to endorse the Huawei Mate 10 Pro. Adam Levine, the lead singer for Maroon 5, suggested holding an “iPhone burning party” while promoting the launch of Samsung’s Milk Music service, but one week later was caught promoting a television appearance from an iPhone. Maybe when it comes to marketing non-Apple phones, companies are better off using traditional marketing, or animated characters.