That was a close one! The Federal Trade Commission stated via tweet today (are they doing that now?) that Ashton Kutcher will not face an investigation following a guest editing job for Details gone awry.
As part of his editorial coverage, Kutcher included shout-outs for a number of companies that he invests in, but he didn’t disclose that relationship. An investigation had been threatened, but the commission has decided against it.
Unfortunately for Kutcher, the damage may already be done.
With millions of followers on Twitter, a new gig on Two and a Half Men forthcoming, and a voice on issues such as sex trafficking (he recently had an issue with the Village Voice over an article they wrote on his involvement, if you recall), Kutcher has access to tons of devoted fans. The Details stint should have been a positive; another way for him to reach those fans, add much-needed professional credibility to his name, and open doors to ultimately promote the investments, projects, and causes important to him.
Instead, with the omission of one little sentence — I have a stake in the companies I’m going to talk about — he has damaged his rep, if not with his fans, then with the outlets that would otherwise give him an opportunity to share his point of view. Leveraging his fan base is an important part of Kutcher’s career right now. There isn’t (or shouldn’t be) an outlet out there willing to give him a chance like this again. Or at least not for a long time and without intense adult supervision.