You've probably seen social media influencers constantly post about their amazing vacations, the luxury products they're using, and how great their lifestyle is. But they’re not all to be trusted. One of the biggest red flags is when they earn a reputation for deceiving the public. Like Brittany Dawn Davis aka Brittany Dawn.
We'll explore some of the reasons why you shouldn't always trust lifestyle influencers like Brittany Dawn. It might even save you a trip to the lawyer’s office.
Looks can be deceiving
Kim Kardashian endorses many products and services — from cosmetics to teas to footwear to politicians. While she may be a credible endorser of makeup and slimming teas, following her advice regarding which cryptocurrency to invest in may be a little ill-advised.
Brittany Dawn may not be as popular as Kim K., but she’s just as savvy. She capitalized on her participation in swimsuit competitions and bodybuilding events to sell a lifestyle brand that promised “flexible dieting, effective training, balanced living, and community support.”
But instead of making people feel good about themselves, they felt ill for being deceived.
The State of Texas sued the fitness coach-turned-Christianity influencer for failing to deliver the customized nutritional plans and fitness regime that she promised her followers. She, under her company Brittany Dawn Fitness LLC, was supposed to provide close guidance to those who paid for the exercise and diet plans. Instead, her customers got generic meals and no support from her crew.
Someone like Brittany Dawn can easily convince people that she can turn their lives around and lead them down a path of fitness righteousness. After all, she has a million followers on TikTok and hundreds of thousands of followers and subscribers on other social media platforms. She is also very fit, as shown in her posts. But a huge social media following and a couple of #fitnessgoals posts do not a credible nutritionist make.
If the products they’re selling seem shady, they probably are
Brittany Dawn’s meal plans and personalized fitness programs were offered from $92 to $300. She sold these to customers with a promise that they would come with personal coaching time with her. Many customers, however, started online petitions and created online forums to complain about not getting coaching sessions with her and that the meal plans weren’t personalized.
Consumer complaints then started to pour in on her social media accounts. This prompted her to delete comments that do not align with the positive vibes of her posts.
One of the main complaints about the influencer’s meal plans was that they lacked adequate nutrition to fuel workouts. Perhaps “Team Brittany Dawn” (an actual marketing hook that was used in selling the goods) sold tiny portions of food and slapped a label on them saying “100% healthy!” and called it a day.
In any case, many customers weren’t happy. One client who suffered from an eating disorder paid more than $100 for a diet plan and fitness program and then complained that she didn’t receive specific guidance. Several other customers who mentioned eating disorders in their complaints claimed that it didn’t help their condition.
Ms. Davis was remorseful about the trouble she’s caused. She issued a heartfelt apology via an Instagram story. She also invoked the name of God, so all was forgiven. At least for the time being.
Getting scammed may require hiring a lawyer
Following the scandal, Ms. Davis slightly tweaked her brand. From a Starbucks-guzzling, fitness goals-posting blonde, she changed her persona into a Christian influencer who is married to her best friend and “wildly in love with Jesus Christ.”
Before pivoting to being a spirituality influencer, she was sued for violating the Deceptive Trade Practices Act and was asked by the State of Texas to pay $250,000 to $1 million in damages.
Read more about problematic influencers: Problematic social media influencers who did things for the likes
Should you feel misled by an internet personality’s products and/or services, you might have to consult with a lawyer to learn your rights. Not that consulting a legal professional is ever a bad thing. If you get scammed into buying a jar of diet mayonnaise that promises to make you lose two pounds every month and doesn’t, you have every right to complain.
If you ever need an attorney, do not call a “law influencer”. Call Buckingham, LaGrandeur, & Williams. We’re the team to consult for your personal injury or family law case in the Evergreen State.