Looks like a good old fashion cash grab celebrity endorsement has become a bit more fraught when it comes to the digital marketplace nowadays.
Less than a month after the likes of Larry David, Tom Brady Gisele Bundchen, and Stephen Curry were sued for bringing their well compensated star power to pitch now collapsed cryptocurrency firm FTX, a new class action filed in federal court aims to take the Golden State Warriors superstar and a pantheon of big names to the financial woodshed over shilling Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs for hidden payoffs.
It’s an action that turns the spotlight uncomfortably not just on Curry again, but also Kevin Hart, Madonna, Jimmy Fallon, Justin Bieber, Paris Hilton, Serena Williams, DJ Khaled, Gwyneth Paltrow, and more. Along with Universal TV also being named as a defendant, high profile music manager Guy Oseary is specified as the brains behind the whole alleged big bucks scam.
“Defendants’ promotional campaign was wildly successful, generating billions of dollars in sales and re-sales,” says the lawsuit from Adonis Real and Adam Titcher filed on December 8 in U.S. District Court in California. ”The manufactured celebrity endorsements and misleading promotions regarding the launch of an entire BAYC ecosystem (the so-called Otherside metaverse) were able to artificially increase the interest in and price of the BAYC NFTs during the Relevant Period, causing investors to purchase these losing investments at drastically inflated prices,” the jury trial seeking 10-claim suit adds (read it here).
Essentially, on their various platforms, through public statements and in Fallon’s case on The Tonight Show in late November 2021, the celebs praised the Yuga Labs backed BAYC NFTs to the public by claiming to be customers themselves. Now, the allure of non-fungible tokens may have dimmed considerably ( a.k.a. nosedived) in recent months, but to BAYC buyers jumping on board last year, they quickly proved “losing investments at drastically inflated prices.”