Legendary Marketer ads criticized as misleading

Chelsea Ouimet has more than a million followers between her two Instagram accounts, “Chelsea the Affiliate” and “Hustle with Chelsea.” The self-described stay-at-home mom of three smiles broadly and shows off her beautiful home in video posts touting ways to make money — quickly — through a business model called affiliate marketing.

“All you need is a phone, a laptop, wi-fi and one to three hours a day,” she says in one of dozens of videos posted on her pages. In one post, she says the average annual salary of an affiliate marketer, with no experience, is $177,566. “I made that salary in my first 11 weeks,” she says.

Affiliate marketing is not new, but social media triggered an explosion of interest — and an array of concerns. The market for online learning courses has boomed in recent years, spanning professional development platforms to online influencers selling lessons on everything from gig work to the timeless art of seduction.

Dozens of companies online offer courses to teach you how to get into affiliate marketing. Typically, affiliates earn a commission on sales of products they recommend. The internet is full of videos with people saying they became millionaires through affiliate marketing. Part of the appeal is that these jobs can be pitched as a “side hustle” that don’t require as much time and effort as a full-time position.

I really thought I was just doing a $7 course. I was very, very shocked about it being a lot more than that.

Dana Gunning, Legendary Marketer customer

Side hustles have continued to become more common during this period of persistent inflation, particularly for younger people. A survey from the financial services company LendingTree published in February found that more than half of millennials and Gen Z supplement their main source of

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