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Kutcher Could Get 'Punk'd' by SEC

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Actor Ashton Kutcher, who will soon appear in CBS's Two and a Half Men," could receive a visit from Securities and Exchange Commission authorities about his time as a guest editor for Details magazine.

Kutcher wrote for an online September edition of the magazine called "The Social Issue" in which a number of popular Web tools like Google (GOOG) and Amazon (AMZN) are listed along with Details' choice for a "next generation" alternative.

Ashton Kutcher's next date could be with SEC officials.

Those alternatives included Tinychat for Skype, Grubwithus rather than OpenTable, Hipmunk in place of Expedia (EXPE), and Zaarly instead of eBay (EBAY). Kutcher invested in all these fresh companies.

"If you read Ashton's editors letter, you'll see he succeeded in his mission to get people to talk about and even criticize this social issue," said Details Editor in Chief Dan Peres, The New York Times reported. "I stand by how we communicated Ashton's involvement with some of the companies included in our coverage and remain extremely proud of the work we did on this project."

Journalists must disclose any ties or investments they have to companies and their stocks, and in 2009 the SEC ruled that bloggers must follow the same scrutiny.

Kutcher, who once starred in MTV's "Punk'd," does a question-and-answer with the social issue that declares: "Consider this Ashton's guided tour of the coolest stuff happening online right now."

In his answers to the magazine, the guest editor said he became a "tech nerd" after his company Katalyst did a deal with AOL (AOL) to produce short-form Web content, but the advent of Facebook and Twitter made Kutcher realize that he could be popular online without a big media company's help.

TheStreet forbids its reporters from holding a personal stake in companies.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.



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