‘Social influencers’ who hyped Fyre Festival could be the next legal target
With great influence comes great accountability.
Mark Geragos, the Los Angeles-based power attorney behind the leading class action suit against organizers of the infamous Fyre Festival, now says his firm is investigating whether social media “influencers” who hyped the disastrous event could be dragged into the ever-expanding web of lawsuits.
“One of the things we’re toying with is going after social influencers who didn’t comply with [Federal Trade Commission] stuff so, that may be the next wave,” Geragos said late last week on The Adam Carolla Show, where he’s a regular guest.
A handful of models and socialites posted to Instagram and Twitter about the festival — or appeared in its bougier-than-thou promotional video — reportedly in exchange for free tickets and other expected VIP treatment that, as we now know, never materialized.
Geragos didn’t name names, but by now we’ve all seen the posts from a number of potential targets, including Hailey Rhode Baldwin, Bella Hadid, Elsa Hosk, Amanda Riley and Emily Ratajkowski.
According to Geragos, they didn’t make it clear that they were being compensated for their endorsement — and that’s where he sees an opening.
“Social influencers … end up getting paid to hype an event; but if you’re doing that, there’s FTC rules as to what you’re supposed to disclose and not disclose. And I don’t think anybody did. So I’ve looked at that and wondered if that’s an area to go into but, we’re still talking about that currently,” he said.
The notoriously bombastic Geragos could may just be saber-rattling; it’s not as if Fyre was some great windfall for the influencers who believed the hype.
Riley (above) told The Hollywood Reporter that she was offered an all-expenses-paid Fyre experience for “a couple of posts to help them with marketing,” but it didn’t work out that way — she was stranded in Miami and never made it to the Bahamas.
“I got lucky since I didn’t pay upfront for anything,” she told THR. “Worst case, I have to buy one flight back to New York. … I’m staying out of it because I’m kind of complete with it. My friends and family are safe. And I didn’t pay for anything. So I just don’t want anything to do with that company anymore or deal with these people.”
If Geragos pushes ahead with this, however, she may have no choice.
Hey, at least she’ll have plenty of company.