Clicky’s Compliance Corner – Celebrities are Cracking Down on Fake Endorsements
Everyone loves a celebrity endorsement of their product, that’s why people are willing to drop unbelievable amounts of money to line up celebs as spokespeople. BUT fake celebrity endorsements, where the celebrity, whether it be an athlete, a television personality, actor, etc, did not expressly approve the endorsement, are fraudulent and put online marketers who use them in serious risk for legal and monetary trouble.
Clickbooth strictly prohibits the unauthorized use of a third party’s name, image or likeness by our marketers and proactively screens against these fake celebrity endorsements. We will not launch a landing page with this type of fake and misleading content. This is not a new practice; Clickbooth’s exclusive publishers and advertisers as well as our other partners have already proactively worked with us to screen against this issue since 2008. As an industry leader in compliance and consumer safety, Clickbooth strongly believes that consumer protection needs to be the top priority of all publishers and advertisers. That being said, if you are an online marketer, we urge you not to use fake celebrity endorsements. The risks far outweigh the benefits and celebs are cracking down on these fraudulent ads.
Two “favorite” celebs commonly used in these type of ads are Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Memhet Oz. I am sure everyone in the industry is more than aware of the faked Dr. Oz and Oprah acai berry endorsements and the serious legal action that has followed. Even more recently Dr. Oz of The Dr. Oz Show officially announced that he is “mad as hell” about the influx of fake ads and has started to openly fight against companies that fraudulently use his name or image to endorse health related products. Facebook as well as Amazon have already agreed to search and remove any fake accounts, fake web pages and fraudulent advertisements that use the Dr. Oz name without authorization or permission – and that means any and all ads will be removed because Dr. Oz claims he is not a paid spokesperson for any brand, supplement or product. To read more on Dr. Oz’s fight against the fraudulent use of his name check out his recent blog post on his website: http://www.doctoroz.com/blog/mehmet-oz-md/my-name-profit-not-anymore. The serious crackdown on fraudulent endorsements by these two television personality giants is just the beginning and a prime example of the risk marketers face when they choose too ignore guidelines and produce this type of content.
Clickbooth prides itself in protecting advertisers, publishers and consumers alike. With this in mind we believe in the renewal of the reputation of affiliate networks in the United States and to facilitate this change we need industry-wide action and support. Prohibiting this type of fraudulent advertising is another step toward this goal. Marketers be aware, protect yourself and end the use of fake celebrity endorsements today.