A recent shilling leak revealed the cost of publicity provided by celebrities like Zuby and Lindsay Lohan for social media posts marketing cryptocurrency projects.
The information, provided by Wonderland whistleblower zachxbt, is a price list obtained from an unnamed crypto marketing firm, which revealed that promotional tweets range from $300 for a tweet to $35,000 for a retweet.
Subsequent filings also disclosed the cost of making promotional posts on other social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram and TikTok.
“Not everyone on the list does undisclosed scams, but the vast majority of names I see out there do,” zachxbt said.
Another disturbing aspect of these leaked names is that many of these promoters failed to disclose when they were paid to market these programs.
Among the most valuable, opaque shillings, Lindsay Lohan allegedly charged $20,000 for a tweet and $35,000 for a package of tweets and retweets.
The marketing firm also offers “high budget” deals for companies with deep pockets. For a fee of $130,000, 114 Twitter influencers (over 19 million total followers) will each post two promotional tweets and one retweet.
Comedian Che Durena allegedly offered a promotional TikTok post for $20,000, while rapper Lil Yachty’s Instagram post was just $50,000.
Undisclosed Shillings; Consumer Protection
According to the FTC, as of 2021, more than 95,000 people have reported losses from fraudulent activities initiated on social media platforms of approximately $770 million. The FTC also noted in its Consumer Protection Data Spotlight report that “these losses represent approximately 25 percent of all reported fraud losses in 2021, a staggering 18-fold increase over losses reported in 2017.”
In almost all cases, paid promotions, including those that support cryptocurrency projects, should be labeled accordingly in order to protect consumers who see it on social media.
In the U.S., the FTC requires appropriate, clear, and prominent disclosures in advertising and marketing materials that not only identify social media posts as advertisements, but also disclosures related to any substance connection, including from company or brand employees.
Undisclosed marketing on social media can constitute a breach of consumer protection laws in many countries, including the UK.
“Without proper disclosure, it may reasonably be assumed that an influencer who is promoting, endorsing or reviewing a product or service has no connection with the business they are promoting,” the UK Competition and Markets Authority said. “They may think that the influencer bought the product themselves and therefore think it’s good value or good quality.”
According to the latest leaked evidence, the vast majority of cryptocurrencies are far from ideal.
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