Lawsuit Filed Against South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem Over Undisclosed Promotion of Dental Company

Travelers United, a consumer advocacy group, has filed a lawsuit against South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem over a promotional video in which she endorsed a cosmetic dentistry company without disclosing any financial relationship with the company.

Lawsuit Filed Against South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem

The lawsuit, filed in Washington DC, alleges that Governor Noem violated advertising regulations by failing to disclose any financial ties to Smile Texas, a Houston-based dental company, while promoting their services in a video. In the video, Governor Noem showcased her own dental work done by Smile Texas, claiming that the company had provided her with a smile she could be proud of.

According to Travelers United, the purpose of the lawsuit is to compel Governor Noem to provide corrective disclosures on all social media posts where she promotes products or services, as required by law.

The lawsuit highlights concerns over potential conflicts of interest and transparency in advertising practices, particularly for public officials like Governor Noem. It questions the appropriateness of a sitting governor engaging in social media influencer activities and receiving compensation for promotional content.

In response to the lawsuit, Travelers United emphasized that it focuses solely on the lack of advertising disclosure and does not diminish Governor Noem’s other accomplishments in office. The group hopes that Governor Noem will address the issue by rectifying her social media posts and continuing her work for the betterment of South Dakota.

The lawsuit seeks to enjoin Governor Noem from advertising on social media without proper disclosure and requests statutory and punitive damages, as well as payment of legal costs.

Governor Noem has not yet publicly commented on the lawsuit. The outcome of the legal proceedings will likely have implications for the regulation of advertising practices by public figures on social media platforms.

What are some examples of clear and conspicuous disclosures in advertising?

Some examples of clear and conspicuous disclosures in advertising include:

  1. Prominence: The disclosure should be big enough for consumers to read easily, ensuring that it stands out within the advertisement.
  2. Repetition: Information may need to be disclosed more than once to ensure consumers notice and understand it, especially on lengthy websites or applications where users may enter at different points.
  3. Multimedia Messages and Campaigns: Advertisers have the flexibility to use various forms of media such as text, graphics, video, or audio to communicate necessary information effectively without misleading consumers. [1]

These examples highlight the importance of making disclosures noticeable, understandable, and easily accessible to consumers to prevent any deceptive practices in advertising.

What are some examples of affirmative disclosures in advertising?

Affirmative disclosures in advertising are proactive disclosures made by advertisers to inform consumers about all harmful and negative effects of a product or service. These disclosures are mandatory under government regulations and are designed to protect consumers from unethical marketing practices, false advertising, and fraud. Examples of affirmative disclosures include:

  1. Cigarette Advertising: Government regulations require cigarette ads to include the warning “Cigarette Smoking is Injurious to Health” to inform consumers of the negative effects of smoking.
  2. Promotional Offers: Affirmative disclosures such as “terms and conditions apply” are commonly heard in promotional offers to provide consumers with necessary information about the offer.
  3. Food Product Allergens: Manufacturers of food products are required to disclose all allergenic ingredients such as peanuts, eggs, etc., to inform consumers about potential allergic reactions.
  4. Product Claims: Products that claim better or timed results over their competitors must include details of their testing process to substantiate their claims.

These examples demonstrate the importance of affirmative disclosures in ensuring transparency and protecting consumers from misleading advertising practices.

What are some common types of negative effects that require affirmative disclosures in advertising?

Some common types of negative effects that require affirmative disclosures in advertising include:

  1. Health Risks: Products or services that pose health risks, like cigarettes, require disclosures about the harmful effects, such as the warning “Cigarette Smoking is Injurious to Health.”
  2. Terms and Conditions: Promotional offers often include affirmative disclosures like “terms and conditions apply” to inform consumers about the specific conditions of the offer.
  3. Allergenic Ingredients: Food products containing allergenic ingredients like peanuts or eggs must disclose this information to protect consumers with allergies.
  4. Product Claims: Products claiming superior results over competitors need to disclose information about the testing process to substantiate their claims, ensuring transparency and accuracy.

These examples illustrate the importance of affirmative disclosures in advertising to protect consumers from potential harm, ensure transparency, and comply with government regulations.

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