Kristi Noem faces lawsuit after promoting Texas dentist on social media

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South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem was sued in Washington on Wednesday over her promotion of a Texas dentist on her social media accounts this week.

The lawsuit, filed by the consumer advocacy group Travelers United in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, alleges that Noem “advertised a product or service without disclosing that she has a financial relationship with that company” after she posted a video to social media Tuesday regarding dental services she received.

In the video, Noem describes consulting with and subsequently getting her teeth adjusted by a cosmetic dental company known as Smile Texas. The video appeared on Facebook, X, Truth Social, and Instagram.

Doctors at Smile Texas helped adjust Noem’s teeth from a biking accident years before that knocked out all of her front teeth, she says in the roughly five-minute video.

“The team here was remarkable and finally gave me a smile that I can be proud of and confident in, and that really is a gift that I think is going to be incredibly special to have,” Noem says. “I chose the team here at Smile Texas because they’re the best.”

The lawsuit accuses Noem of “deceptive advertising practices,” which the group says violated consumer protection laws in Washington, D.C. It also cites Federal Trade Commission guidelines on including language to distinguish social media posts as advertisements.

Noem “seems to have taken up work as a social media influencer,” the group wrote in the filing, arguing that the video post is intended to promote medical tourism and advertise services to D.C. residents.

“Companies, like Smile Texas, pay influencers, like Kristi Noem, to promote their product or service to her followers,” the filing, submitted by Lauren Wolfe, an attorney for Travelers United, said.

“There is no disclosure that this is an advertisement or that she received any free or discounted medical procedures in exchange for this social media advertisement,” the document added.

The group is asking the court to order Noem to pay punitive damages in an amount determined at trial, award statutory damages to Travelers United, and block Noem from advertising on social media without disclosure.

Smile Texas and a spokesperson for Noem did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment on Wednesday night.

Noem is among former President Donald Trump’s potential picks for a running mate on the Republican presidential ticket.

Her team previously confirmed to NBC News that she met with the former president at Mar-a-Lago on Feb. 26, but it declined to provide details about the meeting.



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