If you were someone making money off your face, would you be the face of a sketchy brand? Your answer is probably no. Let’s change the question to this: If this brand was brand new and they were offering tons of money, would you still say no?
This is exactly what happened at the famous Fyre Festival, and now with the Thodex crypto currency. At this point, the consumers should check not twice, not three times but maybe even four times before giving money to a brand, or setting up an investment account.
What happened at Fyre Festival?
Festivals were all the rage before COVID hit the world with lockdowns. Coachella, Burning Man, Lollapalooza and more festivals were the places people went to have the most fun filled days of their year. Fyre Festival was set out to be one of them. Well, at least that’s what the advertisement for the festival said. The festival was set to take place in the Bahamas, with all the luxury accommodation, food and whatnot included.
Celebrities like Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid promoted the festival, saying they were going to be there as well. Celebrities promoting the festival didn’t state that they were paid to do so at first, so they were even more reliable on going. The festival was also created to promote the Fyre app for booking singers and artists.
However, during the festival almost everything went wrong. The headlining artists weren’t there. There were security problems. People didn’t get the promised luxury villas with top-class food, but they received tents and prepackaged sandwiches. The festival was ultimately cancelled, and the founder was sentenced to 6 years in prison for fraud.
Netflix even created a documentary on the failed festival called: Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened.
A few years later, Thodex happened.
Crypto-currency is a hot topic these days. People are claiming they got rich through investing in cryptocurrencies, and there isn’t a single day without hearing about something new in this area. Thodex is or was a Turkey based crypto currency stock market, and it gained quite a big popularity over a year. Turkish celebrities, actors, and influencers promoted the company, posing in front of luxurious cars in luxurious clothes. Even though for a social media enthusiast these photos looked sketchy, they were just enough to deceive regular users.
After a year of functioning as Turkey’s first global stock market, on 21st of April, 2021, Thodex announced that it was closing the system for 5 days. After 5 days, the owner of the Thodex and executives of the company deactivated their social media accounts. People using the company filed complaints about possible profiteering. However, the owner of Thodex fled from the country before there were complaints, and he is still on the run with hundreds of millions of dollars with him.
The problem with Influencers and Celebrities
Both Fyre Festival and Thodex scammed people an incredible amount of money. And even though their founders are fully to blame, is there a responsibility that influencers and celebrities should take? Both companies were supported by well-known people. In Thodex’s case, Turkish actors like Pınar Deniz, Özge Ulusoy, Mine Tugay and many others posed to the cameras for the brand. The only difference from Fyre Festival would be that it was obvious they were doing an advertisement.
The people in both cases are making money off their appearances. They are models, actors, influencers, and they are selling a “face”. When they have such a “huge” audience, you would think they would check twice before agreeing to an ad. However, it is possible that these people don’t do advertisement deals themselves. They have representing agencies, managers, and whatnot to deal with all the paperwork. And all they do is just pose and post. When the situation is like this, it is hard to decide who to blame. Do we blame the actors, influencers or managers? In these cases, both sides should take responsibility. Both parties should check the reliability of a brand, and not jump into an advertisement in a second. However, we should also keep in mind that these people couldn’t have guessed that these companies would commit such frauds. They are after all people like us.
The influencers and celebrities are trustworthy people, and it is easy to fall into such traps like Fyre Festival and Thodex. But it is also on the audience to research the brands before throwing their money into the void. They earn the money, so they shouldn’t let a social media personality tell them where to spend it.
What do you think about these cases? Do you think influencers and celebrities should be paying for damages as well? Or is the responsibility fully on the brand? Let us know down below in the comments or on our social media accounts. We won’t scam you, we promise.