The bad thing is that Ashton has invested in a lot of the products which are promoted in The Social Issue section and the FTC has taken notice. According to the FTC, there are strict advertising practices which may have been violated.
The FTC requires you to disclose products you are promoting which you have made a specific investment in. If you have a significant economic investment that is not apparent, the may impact the credibility of the endorsement and it can become a problem triggering an FTC investigation.
Detail's editor in chief released a statement which said "I stand by how we communicated Ashton’s involvement with some of the companies included in our coverage and remain extremely proud of the work we did on this project."
It's very common for celebrities to not only endorse products, they often invest in them.
Case in point? Carol's Daughter hair care line for naturally textured hair. It's common knowledge that celebrities such as Will and Jada Pinkett Smith have not only invested in the iconic line, but also promote it. Is that inappropriate from the viewpoint of the FTC? It certainly doesn't seem so. Most people who buy Carol's Daughter know about the celebrity investments and their promotion of the line. So it is definitely not hidden by any stretch.
Although celebrity endorsements definitely do move some products initially, long term if the product doesn't live up to it's hype, celebrity endorsements and/or investments will not make a difference.
This is probably true about Ashton. Probably the only reason this even became an issue is because it does involve Ashton who is very visible in the media right now because of his involvement with taking over Charlie Sheen's role on the hit series.
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