'I have no idea where these fake ads have come from' - chef Rachel Allen bites back at 'ludicrous' skincare ad scam
Celebrity chef Rachel Allen has been left with a bad taste in her mouth after a website used her image and name to sell a skincare product.
The TV chef (47) criticised "ludicrous speculation" sparked by a skincare scam, which claimed that she was leaving the food industry to branch out into the beauty business.
She is the latest Irish celebrity to be targeted by companies using their image to sell various products without their permission.
Other well-known names who have been affected by such ads and websites include Miriam O'Callaghan, Lucy Kennedy and Pat Kenny.
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Last year, RTÉ broadcaster Ms O'Callaghan claimed she had been defamed in a series of "false" and "malicious" adverts on Facebook and told the High Court that she intended to seek damages. The ads first appeared on Facebook and Instagram in May 2018 and contained headlines wrongly suggesting she had left her job with RTÉ's 'Prime Time'.
In the bogus website using Ms Allen's image, one article was headlined: "We say goodbye to Rachel Allen's beauty heroes - Irish celebrity chef is done with knockoffs."
It attributed bogus quotes to the chef detailing her favourite beauty and make-up products. The end said: "I have decided to leave the food industry and launch my new skincare line for the women across Ireland and the world."
Follow-on links bring users to a site selling the skin cream.
It is understood a number of people have already fallen victim to the scam and used their credit cards to purchase the skin cream.
The TV star, who married into the Ballymaloe cooking dynasty, has now moved to quash any suggestions that she is endorsing the product or is taking on a new career.
She said she did not endorse the product in any shape or form and was advising anyone who came across the fake ads to report them.
"I have no idea where these fake ads have come from, nor who this company is, and I can state definitively that I in no way endorse them," she told the Irish Independent.
"I take very seriously any company who claims this, or any other misleading details about me, to be true.
"We are trying to identify the source but encourage people not to click on these bogus ads.
"If anyone has given money to this rogue company, I encourage them to report it, as we are doing ourselves.
"As for my career, I can happily confirm I am not leaving the food world, it is my life's passion and I have a lot more yet ahead of me," she said.
“I adore teaching at the Ballymaloe Cookery School, I am planning another cookery book - watch this space - I’m committed to my food page in the Sunday Independent LIFE magazine, and I’m working on my new range of recipes for O’Brien’s Sandwich cafes that will be in store very soon.”