The Kardashian Kard has officially been canned. We take a look at the rise and fall of this card, which generated thousands of tweets and media mentions in its short 3 weeks of existence.
Today, the Kardashian sisters officially pulled the plug on their prepaid debit card (called the “Kardashian Kard”), bringing to an end several weeks of being panned by the financial press. The card was officially launched on November 9, 2010 at an event in New York City.
The card came with relatively high fees (although there are a number of prepaid cards on the market that have a higher relative cost). The fees that received the most attention? The annual or semi-annual fees of $99.95 and $59.95, respectively.
Shortly after the Kardashian Kard was announced, the card was panned by a variety of media outlets. Who will miss the Kardashian Kard the most? Maybe some fashion-conscious teens will miss it, but news editors and publishers who like catchy story titles will likely miss the card the most. Here are a few of the “catchy” story titles that followed the release of the card:
- Card-ashian? Kim Kardashian Hawks Credit Card for Teens (from ABC News)
- Kardashian Sisters to Kash In on New Kredit Kard Aimed at Kids (from the Deceiver.com)
- Keeping Up with Everybody Bashing the Kardashian Dedit Kard (from Time)
- The Kardashians Launch A Prepaid Card: Check the Fine Print (from HuffingtonPost.com)
- Kardashian Kard Kosts Krazy $$$ (from PerezHilton.com)
Hundreds of other articles and tweets littered cyberspace following the launch of the Kardashian Kard. The media attention brought the terms of the card to the attention of regulators as well.
On Friday, November 26, 2010, the Connecticut Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal, wrote a letter to the bank issuing the Kardashian Kard, stating:
I am writing to you with significant questions and concerns about the Kardashian Kard – a so-called “prepaid debit card” featuring a menu of fees – that University National Bank apparently offers to consumers pursuant to a licensing agreement with MasterCard.
I am deeply disturbed by this card’s high fees combined with its appeal to financially unsophisticated young adults. In reality, no family can “keep up with the Kardashians” using this card.
I am particularly interested in ensuring that the card complies with both federal and Connecticut laws.
Blumenthal requested a response from University Bank within seven business days. A copy of Blumenthal’s letter is here.
Today, an attorney representing the Kardashians terminated the Kardashian Kard, by writing a letter to the program manager behind the card (The Revenue Resource Group LLC) stating:
The Kardashians have worked extremely long and hard to create a positive public persona that appeals to everyone, particularly young adults. They have been successful in doing so because they are recognized as honest, ethical, and fun-loving individuals who are kind and caring to others. Unfortunately, the negative spotlight turned on the Kardashians as a result of the Attorney General’s comments and actions threatens everything for which they have worked.
Accordingly, Dash Dolls [the Kardashian’s company] hereby terminates the Agreement in its entirety, effective immediately.
As of today, the Kardashian Kard website no longer is operational, and the card appears to be off the market. It is unclear how many people signed up for the card during the few short weeks it was available.
Celebrities have great influence over the purchasing behavior of their fans. With the right product, a celebrity endorsement can be extremely powerful. The Kardashian Kard could have been a huge success, with proper pricing and communication.