Ashton Kutcher has backed an awesome portfolio of companies, including those run by some close friends of mine, and I think there’s nothing wrong with him promoting them as companies and ideas that he believes in. I was psyched to see some of the founders that I know looking awesome in print.
But it’s pretty embarrassing for Details that the “social issue” was basically an Ashton Kutcher infomercial and virtually no disclosure was provided. In addition to recommending his own investments for a majority of the “hot start-ups” listed, there’s a how-to guide for sprucing up your social media profiles as suggested by the president of Katalyst Media, which was…yep, founded by @aplusk.
Of course he can promote his own investments; he’s an investor, so he should. But some background checking should’ve happened, because I don’t think a celebrity “guest editor” should be expected to cover all the bases. In this whole little mess, Ashton comes across as savvy; Details looks like it got punk’d.