No, Mayim Bialik is not endorsing a line of CBD gummies
By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links
Mayim Bialik’s name is being circulated in a scam claiming she is selling CBD gummies to cure medical ailments — but she’s spoken out, calling the whole thing a “hoax.”
The posts have begun circulating on social media, including under paid posts linked to profiles using variations of Fox’s right leaning commentary channel as well as other names.
Many of the posts then link to a page that appears to be a genuine Fox website white headlines such as “Mayim Bialik reverses dementia solution sparks huge lawsuit pressure on Fox, she finally fights back on air.”
There’s then a rather lengthy “article” about Bialik supposed promotion of CBD gummies that includes, among other assets, a photo of her on “The Kelly Clarkson Show” with the Fox logo in the corner, apparently to make it appear the image was taken from a screen capture of the network.
The content also includes what appear to be genuine brain scans. Later on down the page, boxes show the purported progression of taking the gummies with rather blurry pictures of a man followed by a box alerting readers of “low inventory” and encouraging them to click a button to buy.
We’ve reviewed both ads and websites set up by the advertisers and verified they make multiple efforts to appear to be genuine but are not linking to them here to avoid promoting them, but a partial screenshot of one of the pages is shown below.
Clicking the link takes the user to a page trying to sell the gummies.
After the ads and pages started appearing, some thought she really was endorsing the product, calling her out on social media. In addition to roles in “Blossom,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “Call Me Kat,” Bialik is also the host of primetime “Jeopardy!” specials on ABC and is also filling in alongside Ken Jennings for the rest of the season following the death of longtime host Alex Trebek and the debacle to replace him.
Some “Jeopardy!” fans expressed disappointment that she seemingly was promoting such a product.
Bialik eventually confirmed on Twitter that she is not associated with the product.
“I am not selling CBD Gummies of any kind and do not plan to do so at any point in the future. I have tried to get this removed to no avail. It’s not real,” she tweeted from her verified account on March 14, 2022.
Nearly 10 days later the paid posts are still appearing on social media.
I am not selling CBD Gummies of any kind and do not plan to do so at any point in the future. I have tried to get this removed to no avail. It’s not real.
— Mayim Bialik (@missmayim) March 15, 2022
Bialik is linked with another supplement with questionable medical claims, however. Neuriva is touted as a way to promote brain health, with the company saying in a statement that Bialik uses it daily.
In commercials for the product, Bialik referenced the fact she played a neuroscientist on TV’s “The Big Bang Theory” and also holds a degree in that area in real life, which is true, though there’s no evidence she ever pursued neuroscience as a career.
However, the claims made by Neuriva have been the subject of controversy ranging from the manufacturer being forced to stop using claims about scientific evidence supporting the use of product as well as a multimillion-dollar settlement that forced the company to change its marketing practices.
The commercials featuring Bialik were eventually updated to remove references to scientific evidence and that she had personally vetted the product.
The use of public figures in scammy advertising campaigns is not uncommon. Other prominent victims have included Ellen DeGeneres and Jennifer Aniston.
Bialik noted that public figures often have their images and names hijacked into seemingly promoting products they have no association with. She added that she’s tried to have the posts and site taken down but hasn’t been able to.
Often these products are questionable health and beauty aides that make big claims but often have little evidence to back them up. Since these types of products tend to be extremely high margin, the people behind them can afford to make big ad buys and create sophisticated websites. There’s also often sophisticated efforts made to build hundreds or even thousands of profiles linked to the ads so that if one gets flagged or shut down, the others can remain active.
Many big tech and social media companies claim that all advertising is reviewed by a human as well as using automated processes before it can run, but the campaigns still somehow make it through.
U.S. law generally recognizes the right of public figures to use their position, image and name to promote products and be compensated for that. Technically they can receive damages in cases where an endorsement is implied but not true, but the cases are tough to prosecute because it’s tough to identify who’s really behind them.
American law also requires celebrities and other people who appear in advertising to actually use the product if that claim is made. Most reputable companies will insert a disclaimer if that is not the case. It also must be disclosed that the person is being compensated for endorsing the product, though this is often done using the perennial fine print.