- Celebrity Khloe Kardashian faced a wave of social media backlash last week after posting a sponsored ad for a migraine medication.
- Critics raised ethical concerns about the star being paid by “Big Pharma,” and flooded the hashtag with unrelated or satirical content in protest.
- The Kardashians have a history of using their influence to sell everything from diet shakes to morning sickness pills, disappointed reactions from fans and even a warning from the FDA.
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Reality TV star KhloÃ© Kardashian is facing backlash on social media for using her influence to promote an expensive pharmaceutical drug.
The celebrity touted the migraine medication Nurtec ODT in a sponsored post last week, encouraging fans to ask their doctors about it and visit the company’s website.
#Sponsored With #NurtecODT I dared to reimagine life with #migraine. From launching new businesses to spending time with family, I'm dreaming BIGGER & so are others. Ask your doctor & visit https://t.co/ZyOwmQhWad. Most common side effect was nausea. PI: https://t.co/7GJ4MzjteG pic.twitter.com/A5Eswk2wnO
— Khloé (@khloekardashian) November 9, 2020
Twitter users were quick to criticise Kardashian for promoting a medication when she has no background or expertise in healthcare.
— Dave, MD (@Stethoscope101) November 10, 2020
Some who responded online called it “disturbing” and “ethically questionable” that a high-profile celebrity was advertising for “Big Pharma” to her more than 26 million followers.
celebrity endorsement of drugs is a far-cry from the assumed wheelhouse of an ‘influencer’ and ethically questionable tbh https://t.co/YOLPocEbpq
— kyrstyn. (@kyrst_24) November 10, 2020
this medicine retails for an average of $1023 per 8 tablets. I would legitimately die of pain if I lived in America. https://t.co/T8sm1aTj0b
— mina. (@geekinthejungle) November 11, 2020
In an effort to derail the advertising campaign, some users also starting flooding the associated hashtag with content unrelated to the medication, or blatantly making fun of Kardashian’s ad.
Is #NurtecODT a bronzer?
— Gawd (@GoodLortYall) November 9, 2020
— Laureni (@AniversyLau) November 9, 2020
The Kardashians have a history of controversial advertising endeavours
This isn’t the first time the family has faced criticism for social media ads.
KhloÃ© Kardashian was previously called out by other celebrities, including actress Jameela Jamil, for promoting Flat Tummy shakes, a diet product experts say is ineffective and potentially dangerous for health.
And her sister Kim received a warning from the FDA in 2015 after posting a paid endorsement for morning sickness pills, without including information about side effects and other context,Forbes reported.
KhloÃ© appears to have learned from that mistake, noting in her latest tweet that a common side effect of the migraine drug is nausea. What she didn’t mention, however, is that a small percentage of people can have severe allergic reactions to Nurtect ODT, according to the Mayo Clinic. Symptoms can include a rash, difficulty breathing, weakness, and facial swelling.
People continue to raise concerns about the ethics of allowing high-profile stars to market medications directly to consumers, and the United States is one of only a few countries that allows this type of advertising.
The American Medical Association has previously called for a ban on the practice, claiming it contributes to inflated healthcare costs and interferes with doctor-patient relationships, Business Insider previously reported.
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