Diet scam advert that faked claims from Adele and Victoria Beckham is banned
Fake endorsements from a variety of celebrities were used to promote the Raspberry Ketone Diet
A number of company names are being used by those behind the scam, including Slimzene
The Advertising Standards Agency has banned adverts promoting Slimzene
By Sean Poulter for the Daily Mail
Published: 00:36 GMT, 26 June 2013 | Updated: 00:38 GMT, 26 June 2013
Scam: Advertising for the so-called Raspberry Ketone Diet used fake endorsements from celebrities including singer Adele, pictured
An internet celebrity diet scam which uses fake endorsements from famous names such as Adele, Victoria Beckham and Lorraine Kelly is raking in millions of pounds.
Even images of the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, have been used by rogues behind the so-called Raspberry Ketone Diet.
Thousands of women in Britain and around the world have been duped by the scam, which is being promoted by paid for advertisements on Facebook.
Consequently, Facebook itself is profiting from a rip-off that is using the power of celebrity to target thousands of women who are trying to lose weight.
A number of company names are being used by the rogues behind the scam, including Slimzene, which apparently operates via an address in Scotland and has American owners.
Images and comments from the celebrities appear on Facebook alongside links encouraging people to sign up for what appear to be free or cheap trials of supplements which make ludicrous and inconsistent claims about speeding metabolism and weight loss.
However, customers, who are asked for bank direct debit details, then find they have signed up to pay around £80 a month for repeat supplies of the supplements.
Many people find it extremely difficult to get through to the company to cancel the payments with the result it is making millions of pounds from victims of the scam.
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The Advertising Standards Authority( ASA) issues a ruling today banning internet ads for Slimzene which featured doctored images of Adele and a faked endorsement.
The watchdog said: ‘A paid-for ad on Facebook for Slimzene showed a photograph of the singer Adele and stated “Adele loses 27Kgs/month – See how Adele loses 27 Kgs/month with one simple trick”.’
No recommendation: The Duchess of Cambridge, left, and Victoria Beckham, right, were among ‘celebrities’ who were falsely said to have endorsed the product
Clicking on the ad linked to the home page of a website for fatshred.com, which carried what appeared to be a magazine style article about Adele’s weight loss and the effects of two weight loss products.
The headline promised a new series called ‘Diet tips from the stars’ and information on how Adele had dropped four dress sizes. There were two faked before and after images of the singer.
The article said she had recently put the Raspberry Ketone Diet to the test and quoted her saying: ‘I lost 32kgs in four weeks with No Special Diet, No Intense Exercise!’.
It added: ‘We found the diet not only helped with weight loss and getting rid of belly fat, but it seemed to boost energy levels, and also helped Adele sleep better and to wake-up more rested.’
Legal advice: Lorraine Kelly told her twitter followers that her lawyers were looking into the company’s claims that she had endorsed their product
Customers were then invited to order Slimzene and Pura Cleanse tablets under a free trial with reduced shipping charges.
Further text on the web page carried the ludicrous claim that ‘Raspberry Ketone has been found to increase metabolism, boosting weight loss by 800 per cent’.
In fact, Adele has nothing to do with Slimzene. The company also failed to defend or explain its claims when contacted by the ASA.
The watchdog said Slimzene failed to show that Adele had used or endorsed the product, failed to prove that raspberry ketone could contribute to weight loss and failed to make clear what appeared to be an article about the singer was actually an advertisement.
As a result, it ruled that the entire promotion was misleading and should be banned from the wed. This ban will rely on Facebook refusing to take these paid for advertisements.
In December, the ASA upheld complaints about a similar internet ruse featuring images of the Duchess of Cambridge.
Then a company calling itself SlimTonePlus, which also has an address in Scotland, was promoting a raspberry ketone diet supplement claiming Kate Middleton had lost 7kg in a week.
A number of celebrities have signalled they are considering legal action against diet product companies that are using their names without permission and faking endorsements.
The presenter of ITV Daybreak, Lorraine Kelly, has issued a warning via Twitter. She wrote: ‘This is nothing to do with me. Please ignore – lawyers on to it.’
Slimzene did not respond to a request for a comment.
Weight LossVictoria BeckhamAdele