Addison Rae. Charli d’Amelio. Zach King. David Dobrik. You know them all as pop-culture’s most “influential” influencers. No disrespect to the youngsters named above, but before the world got hip to cheeky pop-and-lock dance bops and slight-of-hand trick vids, kids turned to those on the big screen and radios to find out what the new fad around town was.
It’s not that the latter have been replaced by the toothy grins and witty one-liners fresh-faced Gen-Z”ers” are known for–well not completely anyway–it’s that there has been a changing of the guard in who controls the airwaves. Old-school celebrities aren’t without a voice though–not by a long shot.
A good number stay busy with the “things” that first brought fame, while stepping into arenas that keep them evolving as artists and as people. As it turns out though, some should have stopped at first base. Gwyntyh Paltrow, Snoop Dogg and Justin Beiber are a few stars who may have overstepped the boundaries of their stardom by prematurely crossing into the world of NFTs. Case and point being what is being levied against them by the folks at Truth in Advertising, or TINA for short.
The evolution of the Metaverse has brought on a wave of curiosity into how non-fungible tokens lead to loot. More and more celebrities have responded in kind by entering the space at breakneck speeds in hopes of cashing in. But at what cost? Who’s to say these celebs aren’t in it for the sole purpose of shifting their bank account commas further and further to the right.
Enter Truth in Advertising. TINA crashed the party with a move that aims to level the playing field, so to speak. If the end goal is to protect consumers from being duped by those they most admire, targeted letters of intent is how they plan on going about it. Truth in Advertising sent out notices to 17 different celebrities demanding they each be more forthright with their respective NFT projects. Harsh? Or is it? Well, without a universal set of rules governing how this game is being played, a little transparency from those at the helm couldn’t hurt now, could it?
The so-called consumer watchdog has even taken measures to ensure their actions are in line with the greater good for all involved, and as such, is consistent with the Federal Trade Commission’s guidelines on endorsement and advertising.
As you can imagine though, Snoop and company aren’t solely to blame. Being completely foreign to the inner workings of how NFTs work has led to the interrogative spotlight being shone upon the companies backing these digital designs. Bored Ape Yacht Club, inBetweeners, World of Women, Autograph, Bored Bunny; yup, we’re looking at you.
Truth In Action isn’t in the business of punishing celebrities from buying and/or selling NFTs per se, but instead aim to crystalize the foundational pillars of their involvement–especially in the case where gifted tokens and paid partnerships are concerned.
The jury is out on how things will shake down in the end. But, if this exercise filters out the weed of greed from reformists keen on pushing the landscape forward, we’re here for it; ALL of it.
For more on Truth in Advertising, be sure to visit the group’s official website. Meanwhile, in other NFT news, Damien Hirst explores the future of NFTs and sheds some light on how feels about them.