In terms of Instagram influencers, Kim Kardashian is the OG spon-con queen. Since her rise to fame in 2006, the 37-year-old reality star has defined what it means to monetize your Instagram and make social media your career. So, as one of Instagram’s spon-con pioneers, she likely makes a pretty penny from the brands she promotes. And now, thanks to an actual, leaked contract, we know exactly how much.
This week, STAT, a medical news website, obtained a contract between Kim’s company, Kimsaprincess, and the pharmaceutical company, Duchesnay USA. The contract agreed to pay the “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” star $500,000 to promote Duchesnay USA’s morning sickness pill brand, Diclegis, in a July 2015 Instagram. (To put it into perspective, the President of the United States makes a $400,000 salary.)
However, the pay wasn’t without its controversy. After Kim promoted the pill on Instagram, she faced backlash for not including any information about the medication’s warnings or side effects. Likewise, she was also criticized for not mentioning that Diclegis (which was under a different name) was pulled from the market in 1983 after several lawsuits claimed that it caused birth defects. The situation led to the FDA sending a letter to Duchesnay USA about the lack of risk information and Kim issuing a second Instagram with the new information.
The first Duchesnay USA Instagram has since been deleted, but Kim continued to work with the brand, likely because sales of the medication went up 21 percent after the reality star’s endorsement, despite the backlash, according to STAT. However, as you will notice, Kim’s Instagrams for Duchesnay USA now sound more like pharmaceutical ads, rather than natural spon-con, likely to save face in case the company happens to be hiding any other secrets.
With $500,000 per Instagram and more than a couple pictures over the years, Kim has made millions for a simple, at-home photoshoot. But the real question: Is it worth it?