"A walking billboard": Ivanka Trump criticized for using social media to promote her brand

Ivanka Trump products have appeared 68 percent of the time in her social media pictures since becoming an adviser

By Matthew Rozsa

Published December 27, 2017 4:55PM (EST)

 (AP/Alex Brandon)
(AP/Alex Brandon)

President Donald Trump is not the only member of the Trump family who many fear has abused his office to burnish his business empire.

Ivanka Trump is being heavily criticized for publicly wearing products associated with her fashion brand while continuing to serve as one of her father's advisers, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Journal analyzed Trump's social media accounts — including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter — to see how often photographs of herself included products from her company. They found that bags, dresses, jewelry and shoes from the Ivanka Trump line appeared in 46 of the 68 outfits posted since she became a White House adviser on March 29, or 68 percent of them.

Although Ivanka Trump has followed her father's lead and placed her company under the control of a trust run by family members while serving in office, she still receives financial information and a share of the profits. As a result, her promoting her products in a public way could be construed as a conflict of interest.

"Ivanka Trump is testing the boundaries on federal rules that bar government employees from using their position to promote brands that personally enrich them," Guian McKee, an associate professor in presidential studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, told the Journal.

This isn't the first time that Trump's fashion brand has been in an unflattering spotlight since her father became president. In February White House counselor Kellyanne Conway was heavily criticized for plugging Trump's brand on television. Despite the clear ethical dilemma, however, Conway was ultimately not punished for her actions and Trump's product line saw a 10,700 percent increase in sales from where it had been the previous year in the immediate aftermath of Conway's plug.

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Conflict Of Interest Donald Trump Ivanka Trump Kellyanne Conway