Promoting businesses and brands thrives on both truth and fallacies. Fallacy is a special specie of falsehood. What makes it special is the fact that on a cursory look, it appears like truth. But on a careful consideration, you’ll see all the decorated lies. Sometimes, fallacies may not be harmful. Other times, they could be.

Examples of fallacies in advertisement abound. For instance, it is fallacious to make people believe that using a particular toothpaste will enable them to achieve all their life goals. You’ve also seen companies trying to convince you that if you drink certain brand of beer, you’ll attain greatness. Some soft drinks are said to have no grain of sugar but when you taste it, you’d be left questioning the integrity of your taste buds.

Social media influencers have gained significant relevance in the business of advertising in modern times. They take advantage of the influence they command on social media space to literally influence their followers and those on their network to patronise a particular business.

Social media influencers are special people found in different works of life. Note, not all social media influencers are in the business of promoting brands. Some influencers fully focus on being leaders of thought in a particular field only, and influencing people positively.

There are other influencers who tactically influence their followers to patronise a particular business or product without saying a word about it. All they need to do is to publicly associate with the business through “romancing” with the business owner “innocently.” The idea here is that as soon as you, as a follower, see the influencer doing this, you will be moved “on your own” to buy the product or patronise the service. Unknown to you, the influencer was actually paid to put up the public show and command your attention and interest.

Regina Daniels and Jaruma

If you’ve been following the story of the popular actress, Regina Daniels (Gina) and her “friend”, Hauwa Saidu Mohammed (Jaruma), then the point we’re making above will get clearer.

Aside being a young talented and pretty actress, Gina is the last wife (as of now) of a popular Nigerian Billionaire, Ned Nwoko, who had lived for about 40 years before she was conceived.

Jaruma is a popular Nigerian sex therapist and the founder of Jaruma Empire. She is revered for her Kayanmata/Kayamata products – articles of various kinds for sexual enhancement for women. Kayanmata originated from Northern Nigeria and it is a Hausa word which literally means “Women’s things.” However, Kayanmata does not seem to be an ordinary thing. It is sometimes allegedly blended with “supernatural controls” or charms to captivate men and keep them bound to a woman and everything she represents, sexually.

Gina and Jaruma have been close friends for sometime until recently. The actress released a public disclaimer distancing herself from Jaruma and her Kayanmata products. She disclosed that her previous public display of appearing to associate with the products and Jaruma was purely for promotional purpose for which she was paid. She swears that she has never used and will never use Kayanmata. From her post, she claims that her promotional contract had since ended but Jaruma is still allegedly using every opportunity to market her products using Gina’s brand.

Ever since Gina appeared to be publicly hobnobbing with Jaruma and her Kayanmata products, some persons accused her of “caging” or “securing” her husband using the products.

Jaruma reacted to the disclaimer revealing she had allegedly paid a whopping N10 Million to Gina for the promotion, aside other unsolicited cash gifts given to Gina and some members of her family. Jaruma claims that Gina didn’t actively perform her own part of the bargain.

While we are not interested in their claims and counter-claims, what should be of interest is that Gina, by her own disclosure, promoted, for a fee, a product she never used and never intended to use!

By this, Gina clearly abused her position of influence by directing the minds of her followers to patronise a product she appears to despise.

No matter the choice of words used, associating with Jaruma by way of promoting her trade, even when Gina claims she has never and will never use Kayanmata had the capacity of misleading the public, especially her followers. Thus, Gina’s claims that she was very careful with her promotional words holds no water.

That’s not all. Gina now appears to be impliedly demarketing Jaruma’s product (which she once marketed) by her recent disclaimer without disclosing the exact reason. Subject to further findings, Gina might be laying herself prone to civil liability.

Meanwhile, if the claims by Gina (that Jaruma is using her brand to market Kayanmata after the expiration of the promotion contract) is anything to go by, then there’s a lesson for business owners like Jaruma who go into brand/product promotion contracts.

There’s a fundamental clause in a promotion contract that takes care of this kind of situation. If properly drafted by a smart lawyer, the clause will enable a business owner benefit from a brand once paid for promotion even after the contract had ended.

Now that Gina appears to have left her followers at the crossroads, they must decide which way to go – whether to continue or to return to Capernaum.

Stephen Azubuike
Author: Stephen Azubuike
Stephen is a lawyer with expertise in Commercial Dispute Resolution and Technology Law practice. He is a Partner at Infusion Lawyers. He has successfully argued cases from the High Courts of various jurisdictions to the Appellate Courts on behalf of financial institutions, other corporate bodies and multinationals. He has worked with a number of startup tech companies. He tweets @siazubuike.
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