Unauthorized Advice

Regulating the Kardashians


The reality TV star Kim Kardashian, who boasts more than 45 million Instagram followers, uses her social media fan base to endorse a range of products. But when the expectant mother posted on Instagram about Diclegis, a morning sickness pill, the post yielded a warning letter from the Food and Drug Administration to the maker of the drug, Duchesnay USA.

The problem, according to regulators? The "ad"—which started with "OMG. Have you heard about this?"—made no mention of the potential side effects of the medication. The company insists Kardashian reached out to them after finding the pill through her own doctors, but promised to comply with the agency's letter and have Kardashian distribute a corrective ad.

Kardashian did so on Instagram, the same medium to which the original ad was posted. The correction went up the night of MTV's Video Music Awards—at which her husband, Kanye West, won an award and then announced he would run for president in 2020—just prior to a blitz of posts from her at the event.