Video exalting out-of-state dentist gets S.D. governor sued

A consumer advocacy group is suing South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, accusing her of failing to inform the public that a peculiar video she posted on her social media -- in which she gushes over a Texas cosmetic dentist who fixed her teeth -- was an advertisement.

Travelers United, a public interest nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., filed a civil lawsuit on March 13 in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia against Noem, a Republican who could be former President Donald Trump's U.S. vice presidential running mate.

The group alleges that Noem received money for promoting the practice Smile Texas in Sugar Land, TX, and filmed the now infamous video at the practice, according to the lawsuit.

"Someone with a very busy job does not take time off of that job to make a free advertisement for medical services in another state," the group stated in the lawsuit. "There are many dentists and cosmetic dentists in South Dakota."

In the suit, the group claims that Noem engaged in "unfair and deceptive" practices for failing to mark the video as an advertisement or sponsored content.

However, the suit offers no proof that the governor was paid for the post but states in the complaint, "She likely either received free dental care in exchange for this advertisement, discounted dental care in exchange for this advertisement or she was paid and received free dental care for the advertisement."

In the lawsuit, Travelers offers comments from multiple consumers who criticized her video as an advertisement, including the following:

"Kristi Noem: the dental care in this state I run is so piss poor that I did brand deal for one in Texas," Ashley St. Clair wrote on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

"Is this a parody or did she really just post an ad for a teeth company," Matthew Gunnin wrote on X, "Not to mention not disclosing it as such. Oof."

Furthermore, United Travelers is asking the court to prohibit Noem "from advertising on social media without disclosing that she is advertising" in addition to damages and legal costs.

Check out Noem's video below.