Governor Noem Hit with Lawsuit Over Social Media Post

By Jerry McConway, updated on March 15, 2024

This week, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem posted an online video touting a company in Texas where she had some dental work done.

Now, she is being sued by a group for posting an "undisclosed advertisement" for Smile Texas.

Talking Points…
- The post
- The lawsuit
- Analysis

Noem Posts' Undisclosed Advertisement' on Social Media

So, when you are a social media influencer being paid or receiving goods free of charge to promote, you have to make it clear in the post that the post is an advertisement, not a personal endorsement.

Noem, on her personal social media accounts, posted this video…

This is far from the only time that Noem put up videos like this, but they are usually for locally-owned businesses in South Dakota. Those posts, however, seem more like a governor just promoting local businesses in her area, whereas this video appeared to be more of an advertisement, something that her critics did not miss.

Lawsuit Filed Against Noem

Regarding the points mentioned above, Travelers United announced that it would sue Noem for posting an "undisclosed advertisement" on her page. The lawsuit against Noem claims:

"This is a misleading and deceptive advertising case," claiming that the governor "advertised a product or service without disclosing that she has a financial relationship with that company.

"She did not let her followers know when [she] is advertising on behalf of a brand. Travelers United is taking action to force her to make corrective disclosures on all social media posts where she promotes products or services."

After the suit was filed, it was also announced that Democratic North Dakota State Sen. Reynold Nesiba was calling for an investigation into Noem's posting and trip. Nesiba stated:

"I just thought it was a very strange video about how much she enjoyed having her teeth done at that particular place."

Analysis

The moment Noem backed Donald Trump in the 2024 election and became a member of Trump's shortlist of possible VP candidates, she became a target for the left and never-Trumpers. This could be the type of "scandal" that removes her from consideration because, God knows, Trump has more than enough on his plate on this front already.

Putting that aside, this was a mistake for Noem. She clearly knows the rules, and while people will surely look the other way when a Governor is promoting businesses in her home state, promoting a business in another state for a procedure that more than likely costs thousands of dollars in something entirely different.

The other aspect of this that will not help Noem is that she is acting like a social media influencer while still serving as governor. I can already hear people wondering if she would turn a vice presidency into a marketing campaign for her personal accounts. It's just not a good look, and the fact that her office has not yet commented on this makes it look even worse.

About Jerry McConway

Jerry McConway is an independent political author and investigator who lives in Dallas, Texas. He has spent years building a strong following of readers who know that he will write what he believes is true, even if it means criticizing politicians his followers support. His readers have come to expect his integrity.

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