• FTX was a project, similar to the ill-fated Fyre Festival, that was fueled by deceptive influencer marketing.
• Celebrities who promoted the festival, such as Kendall Jenner, were forced to pay for their involvement when government agencies intervened.
• Oxygen’s Nemo Yang argues that crypto marketing needs to change in order to prevent similar cases from happening in the future.
The world of crypto marketing is in need of serious change. After the high-profile case of the ill-fated Fyre Festival in 2017, it is clear that influencer marketing must become more accountable — which is why Oxygen’s Nemo Yang is calling for renewed attention to this issue in 2023.
The Fyre Festival, which promised an exclusive beachside paradise with A-list models including Kendall Jenner, drew thousands of millennials to the Bahamas in 2017. However, it quickly became clear that the event was a hollow project, with wrecked local businesses, dilapidated cheese sandwiches, and deceived customers who formed a class-action lawsuit against the organizers. While much of the media attention focused on the organizers’ lavish lifestyles, another major point of contention was the use of influencer marketing to promote the event. As it turned out, the celebrities who had enthusiastically promoted Fyre were not properly vetted and had not disclosed their financial relationships to the festival — leading to Jenner being forced to pay $90,000 out of pocket for her role.
The similarities between Fyre and crypto exchange FTX are hard to ignore. Both projects were fueled by deceptive influencer marketing, and both failed to properly vet those involved. This has raised the question of whether crypto marketing needs to change in order to prevent similar cases from happening in the future. According to Yang, the answer is a resounding yes.
“It’s time for influencer marketing in the crypto space to become more accountable,” says Yang. “We need to do a better job of vetting the influencers we work with, as well as making sure that the financial relationships between influencers and companies are properly disclosed. It’s the only way to ensure that customers are not misled and that businesses are not taking advantage of unsuspecting customers.”
Yang also believes that companies must take more responsibility when it comes to marketing their products. “Companies need to be more transparent about what they are offering, and they need to provide clear information about how their products work,” he says. “It’s not enough to just rely on influencers to do the marketing for them — companies need to be actively engaging customers and answering their questions.”
By taking these steps, Yang hopes that 2023 will be the year for influencer accountability in the crypto space. “We need to start taking responsibility for the marketing we do and make sure that our customers are not being misled,” he says. “If we can do that, then we can start to build trust with customers and make sure that crypto businesses are held to a higher standard.”