Celebrity endorsements rarely make much sense. Despite what Hulk Hogan and Troy Aikman have said, for instance, it’s foolish to pay double the retail price for a TV from Rent-A-Center. Even so, the endorsement-crazed “famous for being famous” Kim Kardashian is a special case. Based on her history of endorsing goods that are of dubious value if not outright rip-offs, her involvement isn’t just a reason to question the product at hand—it’s a cue for wise consumers to run in the opposite direction.
Skechers is the latest example of a Kardashian-endorsed fiasco. One of Kardashian’s biggest endorsement deals was for the shoe maker’s “toning” shoes. The rounded-bottom shoes, Kardashian said in commercials and appearances, helped her shape her famously rounded bottom and curves.
The toning shoe’s claims were a joke, according to health experts. The shoes were perhaps even dangerous, wobbly as they were. This week, Skechers agreed to pay $45 million to settle claims relating to misleading statements regarding the Kardashian-approved shoes. Turns out (shocker!) they won’t help you lose weight or tone up if you don’t go to the gym or work out.
Skechers’ sketchy claims are just the tip of the iceberg. Here are a few other Kardashian endorsements that are questionable at best:
The Kardashian Kard
The idea of taking any hint of financial advice from Kim Kardashian, a woman who has been confronted by her family about being a shopping addict, sounds like the makings of a “Saturday Night Live” skit. Yet in late 2010, a prepaid debit card called the “Kardashian Kard”—which also sounds like the work of SNL writers—was introduced to the public. Universal bashing of the card ensued, thanks to the product’s bountiful fees, which easily topped $100 per year. In light of the bad publicity, the Kard was soon killed off, and the company that created the card wound up suing Kim and her sisters for $75 million. (The girls eventually won the case when a judge declared they weren’t responsible for ruining the credit card company’s business.)
Kim Kardashian earns millions of dollars per year. So it’s a safe assumption that she has no need to use prepaid debit cards like the short-lived Kardashian Kard. Likewise, while Kardashian has repeated publicly that she does not drink, that hasn’t stopped her from becoming the face of Midori, the green-hued melon liqueur.
Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney Kardashian all endorse QuickTrim diet and cleansing products, which range from pills to gels to powdered drinks. Research indicates that the products’ weight-loss claims have no merit, though. Usage of such products is also likely to produce diarrhea, dehydration, and mild cramping. In March, a $5 million lawsuit was filed against the Kardashians for allegedly “false, misleading, and unsubstantiated” statements related to QuickTrim.
TRIA Hair Removal
More lawsuits have come Kim Kardashian’s way thanks to her involvement with TRIA laser hair removal systems. The reality TV start has said on talk shows and via Twitter that she uses the product on all parts of her body, despite the fact that TRIA’s website states it shouldn’t be used in sensitive areas—specifically “on the nipples, genitals or around the anus.” Last fall, Kardashian was named in a lawsuit, alongside the hair removal manufacturer.
OK, there’s nothing dangerous about Sugar Factory’s Kardashian-endorsed lollipops. (Nothing that we know of yet, anyway.) But the idea of charging $25 for “couture” lollipops is absurd, and Kardashian’s lollipop supposedly worth $1 million is even more so. The pricey lollipops are also available in flavors endorsed by other people famous for being famous, including Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino from “The Jersey Shore.”