Jan 12, 2020 - Economy & Business

Casper lists inability to control social media influencers as IPO risk

Kylie and Kendall Jenner

Kylie (L) and Kendall Jenner at the 2019 Met Gala. Photo: Rabbani and Solimene Photography/WireImage

Mattress company Casper warned in its IPO filing Friday that social media influencers, used by the company as a marketing tool to boost brand recognition, could also pose a financial risk, the Financial Times reports.

Why it matters: The mattress-in-a-box brand is one of many that have taken advantage of the $8 billion influencer marketing industry through partnerships with celebrities like Kylie Jenner, who has more than 150 million Instagram followers. But those massive platforms come with risks, especially since the company can't control the non-branded content that influencers post.

  • "Influencers with whom we maintain relationships could also engage in behaviour or use their platforms to communicate directly with our customers in a manner that reflects poorly on our brand and may be attributed to us or otherwise adversely affect us," Casper noted.

The big picture: Regulators are also cracking down on the influencing industry. Both U.S. and U.K. officials are pushing influencers to more overtly identify sponsored posts and endorsements.

  • Casper said influencers could "subject us to regulatory investigations, class action lawsuits, liability, fines or other penalties."

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