Gov. Kristi Noem slapped with lawsuit for peddling dental work on infomercial (video)

Yesterday we posted about Gov. Kristi Noem's cringeworthy infomercial promoting a dental group in Texas that gave her "a smile I can be proud of." (See video below, posted by Justin Baragona.)

But her new side hustle as smile peddler — aka social media influencer — only lasted a day before she was slapped with a lawsuit.

Apparently, the South Dakota governor did not disclose that it was an ad. Granted, it's not clear whether Noem actually posted the video out of the goodness of her heart or if she was indeed compensated with money, free services, or some other perk. But after the over-four-minute video went viral on social media, Travelers United, an advocacy group, filed the lawsuit for "unfair or deceptive practice."

"If you want to promote medical tourism on social media in exchange for $ and/or free or reduced priced services, you can do that. Just make sure to put Ad as the first word in your caption to comply with the law," the group said on X. (See post at bottom.)

From Mediaite:

What exactly happened to lead a sitting governor to post a video promoting out-of-state cosmetic dentistry services is not clear, but what is clear is that Noem never mentioned or included in the caption any disclosure that this was an "#ad" or otherwise paid promotion, in violation of the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) guidance to social media influencers regarding paid endorsements and advertisements, requiring such posts to include "simple and clear language" to disclose the promoted nature of the post, like "advertisement," "ad," or "sponsored."

For Travelers United, a consumer advocacy nonprofit focusing on travel issues, it just didn't pass the smell test, and the organization sued Noem in a District of Columbia court Wednesday, as first reported by New York Magazine's Olivia Nuzzi. …

Mediaite reached out to Lauren Wolfe, the attorney for Travelers United who filed the lawsuit. Wolfe acknowledged that she did not as of yet have the direct evidence that Noem had been paid or received free or reduced dental services in exchange for the social media posts, but there did not seem to be any other logical explanation.

"It's possible there there is none," said Wolfe, "but it doesn't make any sense otherwise…We look forward to seeing that information in court."