Justin Sun Denies Paying Celebrities to Promote Tron – Decrypt

In brief

  • YouTuber Marques Brownlee provided details of an email that asked him to promote Tron without disclosure.
  • A “Tron partner” claimed that Lindsay Lohan, NeYo, Lil Yachty, and other celebrities have already taken the deal.
  • Tron founder Justin Sun denied that the campaign behind these tweets was associated with the Tron Foundation.

Marques Brownlee, a popular YouTuber with over 13.5 million subscribers, revealed today that he was offered a “compensation” to promote the Tron cryptocurrency without disclosure—and that several other celebrities have taken this deal already.

“So I get this email. So this one said they just wanted a tweet and that they already have participation from Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Cerny, NeYo, Lil Yachty, and more,” Brownlee said in his video today.

In a follow-up email, he was told that this campaign is for the Tron cryptocurrency that “they’re, I guess, paying people to tweet about,” he noted.

“But the more I read into this email, the more sketchy it is. They mention they’re often referred to as the ‘Ethereum killer’—whatever you say—and that they need to make it look like it’s not a sponsored tweet,” said Brownlee.

Above all else, it is illegal to promote something without disclosing that you are actually being paid to do so, per the Federal Trade Commission’s regulations.

The email Brownlee received from a “Tron partner.” Image: Marques Brownlee

According to a screenshot of the email, the sender claimed to be a “partner” of Tron and said that several celebrities have already participated, linking three “top performing (sic) tweets from yesterday in our campaign” from Lindsay Lohan, NeYo, and Lil Yachty.

“We need not make it look like a ‘sponsored tweet’ — Marques can openly make a remark on what he think (sic) of Tron in a tweet and post it,” said the email, adding, “Happy to compensate his honest opinion – nothing dictated or scripted.”

Tron denies the accusations

Shortly after Brownlee’s video began making the rounds, Sun took to Twitter to deny paying celebrities for undisclosed advertisement.

“There have been rumors lately of third party celebrities being paid to promote TRON. TRON Foundation is not involved in these activities. Nor is the foundation aware of the actors behind this,” Sun wrote.

At the same time, just last week Sun himself told Bloomberg that he plans to hire more celebrities that would help promote Tron.

“Sun said he would hire more celebrities and artists to better position Tron as a ‘meme-friendly’ coin,” the outlet reported.

In his reply today, however, Sun asserted that if any celebrities receive payments for promoting Tron, they are required to disclose that.

He added, “TRON Foundation believes that transparency is key. If any celebrities are paid to promote TRON, we require them to disclose.”

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