Kim Kardashian’s unrivaled marketing ability and the popularity of her reality shows appear to be cracking under an unrelenting barrage of negative publicity since she announced her divorce. Now media reports are speculating the brand is tarnished beyond repair.
Kim and the Kardashian family, from momager Kris Jenner to sisters Khloe Kardashian and Kourtney Kardashian were at the very top of their game when Kim married NBA star Kris Humphries. Her blowout, $18 million fairy-tale wedding was compared by some to the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
But when she announced she was divorcing Humphries just 72 days later, Oct. 31, the sky fell. Critics accused her of using Humphries to cash in on lucrative endorsements, product placements and advertising from a televised wedding special. Kim, as well as the family, were said to have grossly underestimated the fallout.
They embarked on an all out effort to turn the tide and rehabilitate Kim in the eyes of the public. But in the nearly three months since then, things have gone from bad to worse for the Kardashians.
The New York Post weighed in today with a devastating report. Everything the reality family touches turns absolutely toxic — with party promoters, magazine editors and television execs all scrambling to blacklist them, insiders told the newspaper. The family’s reality show has plummeted, sales of magazines with Kim on the cover go unsold and her products are unmarketable, insiders say.
“Keeping up with the Kardashians” lost half a million viewers, from 3.5 million viewers per episode last season to 3 million this season, a 14 percent decline, according to Nielsen. Circulation at Us Weekly, In Touch, Life & Style and OK! dropped about 18 percent when a Kardashian was on the cover in December, publishers told The Post.
While the family’s main show is down, E! Entertainment says viewership for spinoff “Kourtney & Kim Take New York,” are up significantly. ‘The most recent Sunday night premiere broke records as the most-watched episode of the series ever, averaging over 3.3 million total viewers.
But what a train wreck. Kim has tried through “Kourtney & Kim” to justify her divorce. But those efforts have been so thinly transparent, the ploy is backfiring. TheImproper reported last week that Kim and momager Kris appeared to fake a scene in the show.
They were shown purportedly riding in a car during a trip to Dubai. Kim reveals to her mom that her marriage wasn’t going well. But the scene appears to have been staged after the fact. New evidence has surfaced that it was shot on Dec. 7, at a Hollywood sound stage. Kim was photographed wearing the exact same outfit outside the studio, down to the color of her fingernail polish.
The show has gone so far out of its way to portray Humphries in a negative light, it may actually be creating sympathy for him. Humphries, who is suing Kim for fraud, is said to be shocked by his portrayal, according to friends. Plus, the show is a constant reminder of the wedding fiasco.
The media has seemingly declared open season on the Kardashians. Her goodwill mission to Haiti turned into a fiasco. She reportedly outraged Oprah who was there and the same time. She also reportedly phone in most of her visit from her luxury hotel room.
FOX411’s Pop Tarts column reported today (Jan. 13) that Kim pockets 90 percent of the proceeds from her charity auction site on eBay. She claims that sales benefit her philanthropy “Charity Auction Supporting the Dream Foundation.”
“Many times, the public assumes that all the proceeds go to charity and not the celebrity. But that is often not the case,” Glenn Selig, President/CEO of Selig Multimedia, told the column. “The public should never assume that 100 percent goes to charity.”
According to Ebay’s policy, 10 percent is the minimum required donation to sell items under eBay’s Giving Works operation. But whether that complies with IRS tax laws is another question.
Kim has lost almost all of her credibility. And without credibility, her empire has little to offer.