PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A $100 million class action lawsuit over the failed Fyre Festival, in which partygoers were promised luxury but got chaos.
The fallout may change the game on those sometimes lucrative social media endorsements.
Organizers and the social media influencers behind the Bahamas festival-gone-bad are being sued for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and unfair trade practices.
Philadelphia intellectual property attorney Richard Peirce says, “The ultimate theory will go as you should have done more on the front end, you either shouldn’t have promoted it if you knew that it wasn’t what it was, or you should have looked into it in more detail. You should have taken steps to make sure what you were promoting that would be okay if people relied on that.”
The exclusive music festival described as the “Caribbean Coachella” was advertised heavily on Instagram by more than a dozen social media celebs including models, clothing designers, and personalities like Bella Thorne, Kendall Jenner and Haley Baldwin.
“If liability ultimately flows not only from the people who put the festival together to these influencers, they may be very, very cautious in determining what goods, what services and what events they ultimately decide to put their name behind not only from a potential liability perspective but probably even more damaging to their online brand.”
The lawsuit comes weeks after the Federal Trade Commission issued a stern warning to influencers that they must do more to disclose when they are paid to promote goods.