Consumer News

Ad or Not? Louise Linton and Luxury Labels

Paid-for post or just conspicuous consumption?

Consumer News

Ad or Not? Louise Linton and Luxury Labels

Louise Linton, the wife of Trump’s Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, raised some eyebrows this week.

As one can discern from Linton’s liberal use of hashtags, Linton took the opportunity to specifically call attention to the various designer duds she was sporting, including Tom Ford, Hermes and Valentino.

One Twitter user questioned:

1. Whether Linton was “being basic,” slang for mindlessly following the latest trends and being generally vapid or uninteresting;


2. Whether the post crossed FTC endorsement guidelines.

We’ll get back to the Ad-or-Not question later, as the post raised eyebrows in other ways.

An Instagram user, @jennimiller29, who describes herself as a mom of three from Oregon, called out the gaudiness of the public servant’s wife as she benefited from her government role. And Linton was none too pleased.

Viewers online were quick to blast Linton’s extravagant display of wealth and her belittling response to the criticism.

Another Twitter user pointed out the irony of the actress who once played Marie Antoinette, the notoriously lavish and out-of-touch French queen, sharing such a post.

Returning to’s classic Ad-or-Not question:

Brands were quick to distance themselves from this mess, assuring readers that Linton was in no way compensated for the flashy shout-out.

So, no. This is not an ad.

Linton did issue an apology following the media firestorm.

But the damage was already done.

And the jury is still out on the charge of “being basic.”

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