Why this influencer’s branded marriage proposal has infuriated the internet

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  • Oh dear.

    Marissa Fuchs, also known as @fashionambitionist on Instagram, is an influencer with over 190,000 followers. She’s also the Director of Brand Partnerships & Sales at Goop (yes, Gwyneth Paltrow’s very own).

    So when she shared a video of her boyfriend, Gabriel Grossman, ‘surprising’ her earlier this week saying: ‘I have the most important question of my life to ask you…’ her followers were intrigued. Marissa’s other half admitted that traditional weddings ‘weren’t really their style’ and he wanted to do something she could ‘capture for the ‘gram’. He also called it an experience.

    View this post on Instagram

    WHAT IS HAPPENING?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    A post shared by MARISSA CASEY FUCHS (@fashionambitionist) on

    But the extravagant wedding proposal – which, over the last few days, has seen Marissa extensively documenting her every move on a scavenger hunt of epic proportions – has gone viral for all the wrong reasons.

    The fashion blogger was whisked from New York to Montauk to Miami to Paris in the bougiest engagement the world has ever seen. Along the way, she is attempting to find her ring and her efforts are punctuated by shopping stop-offs, fancy dinners, swanky hotel stays and flashy gifts from her husband-to-be.

    However, the authenticity of this ridiculously over-the-top proposal (which, FYI, has gained Marissa over 20,000 new followers) has been thrown into question as The Atlantic journalist, Taylor Lorenz, tweeted a thread explaining that the surprise might be more #spon that spontaneous.

    ‘An influencer’s “surprise wedding” was apparently pitched to brands before it even began. I got the deck yesterday. Here’s the full rundown,’ she begins, before sharing some marketing slides that the couple allegedly sent to various brands in a bid to sponsor their engagement.

    The publication obtained the pitch, which reads: ‘This summer, Marissa of @FashionAmbitionist will be pulled into a surprise adventure created by the center [sic] of her life, Gabriel. He will remotely ask her to take an unexpected and sentimental journey to him, a journey that will encompassing many familiar stops along the way that offer their own unique gifts…

    ‘We’re pleased to offer your brand the opportunity to align with this momentous occasion and the beautiful cities she will be visiting along the way.’

    The full PDF, which Lorenz shared on Twitter, lists every last detail of the proposal – from their hectic continent-hopping schedule to the exact times that they’d be arriving at bars/restaurants/hotels and precisely when they’ll be posting about it on Instagram.

    The idea that the couple may have pitched their engagement to brands hasn’t gone down too well, and her picture comments have ranged from: ‘The audacity of this is incredible, but I’m kind of into it,’ to ‘This is embarrassing, for humanity.’

    Others are outraged that the couple have continued the narrative despite being ‘exposed’.

    Gabriel has insisted that Marissa wasn’t involved in the process and that they received no direct payment for any of the Instagram stories.

    However, advertising exec Bryan Pedersen told The Atlantic: ‘Either her fiancé has been intimately involved in every single aspect of her business and influencer marketing career and knows every detail of her influencer partnerships, or she has had some input into that pitch deck. There’s no way a friend or potential fiancé would know how to put together a pitch deck with that detail.’

    What do you make of it all? Let us know @marieclaireuk

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