12:58pm PT by Ashley Cullins
Social Media Endorsements From Hollywood Actresses at Center of FabFitFun Lawsuit
FabFitFun paid for social media endorsements from Cara Delevingne, Sarah Hyland and Ashley Benson but never got them, according to a breach of contract suit filed against a company called JFF Entertainment, and it appears two of the actresses weren't aware of the purported deals.
The seasonal beauty box-by-mail company says it paid more than $80,000 (an upfront payment of half the fee) and JFF never delivered. The influencer agreements attached to the complaint go over guidelines for the social posts, and they're signed by either company principal John Fitzpatrick or senior brand manager Kara Fox on behalf of the actresses.
According to the complaint, which was filed July 24 in L.A. County Superior Court, the actresses would each record two unboxings on Facebook Live, post twice on Instagram and create two Instagram stories that are five to seven slides long each. The hashtag #fabfitfunpartner was supposed to be used in each caption, along with the company website and its social media tag @fabfitfun. (The complaint and contracts are posted below.)
For this, FabFitFun thought it was paying Hyland $50,000, Benson $55,000 and Delevingne $80,000 — although the complaint notes the parties later agreed to swap Shay Mitchell for Delevingne. (Influencer Brittney Atwood is also mentioned in the complaint.)
Hyland didn't agree to an endorsement deal and Delevingne's team never even received an offer, a source with knowledge of the actresses' sponsorship offers tells The Hollywood Reporter. Reps for Benson didn't reply to requests for comment, and fans have reposted what appears to be a FabFitFun unboxing video featuring the actress.
FabFitFun on Friday sent THR a statement about the situation. “Our dispute is with JFF Entertainment and not the talent they claimed to represent, who are not parties to this matter," it reads. "We support and respect the work of these women and our dispute with JFF Entertainment should not be misconstrued as any reflection on them, several of whom it appears may have had no knowledge of our arrangement with JFF.”
Fitzpatrick last week said this via email: "JFF Entertainment is unaware of a lawsuit that has been filed. If we receive, we will review with counsel."
When asked on Thursday about the actresses' lack of knowledge of the deals, or why FabFitFun would have been negotiating with JFF instead of their agents or talent attorneys, Fitzpatrick said: "In reaction to your email, we have proactively reached out to FabFitFun to resolve any issue they may have. All talent related to JFF Entertainment’s dealings with FFF was vetted through 3rd party representatives."
A company called Hype Factor sued JFF in July 2019 telling a similar story. It alleges it paid more than $40,000 as a first installment as part of an influencer agreement under which fitness model Catherine Paiz would endorse Kate Hudson-owned athleisure company Fabletics on social media. JFF denies any wrongdoing and filed counterclaims for breach of contract and slander.