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Lucy Kennedy is latest celebrity victim of scam weight-loss ads on Facebook

 

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Lucy Kennedy photographed at the Gibson Hotel.Picture Credit:Frank McGrath

Lucy Kennedy photographed at the Gibson Hotel.Picture Credit:Frank McGrath

Lucy Kennedy photographed at the Gibson Hotel.Picture Credit:Frank McGrath

TV presenter Lucy Kennedy has been targeted by a weight-loss scam which saw her image being doctored and false quotes attributed to her.

Kennedy (43) described as "fake" two pictures of her used on a new Facebook page called 'Dlyetto' along with the quote "I drink it to be thin". The images are accompanied by a picture of the product, Black Latte, which alleges to boost weight loss.

A link then brings users to a page that has been doctored to make it look like it is her personal blog, with 'Living with Lucy' emblazoned at the top.

Under the headline 'The truth about loosing (sic) 23kg in one month', a post purporting to be written by the presenter states she tried lots of diets to lose weight but nothing worked. It added that these diets affected her mood.

"I was always hungry, irritated and grumpy. Of course, it was unacceptable, especially I wouldn't want my audience to see me turning into a monster!" it states.

It goes on to say a friend suggested she try Black Latte. An image taken from a 2017 Cheerios Childline photocall was also doctored to make it look like she was holding the product in question, instead of a cereal box.

The post claims that by the end of one month, she had shed 23kg by using the product and was "getting younger and healthier" as a result.

A link from that page brings users to another website selling the product. The site has been registered to an address in Virginia in the US.

Kennedy told the Irish Independent: "I have absolutely nothing to do with this product and I do not endorse it in any way."

Her spokesperson added that she was "not upset but annoyed" about the use of her name and image.

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She said Kennedy was particularly aggrieved about the use of an image taken from a photocall she had done to support a charity for vulnerable children was now being used "for commercial gain".

Facebook last night said it had removed the page and all ads.

A spokesperson said: "We take the issue of celeb-bait extremely seriously. It's important to us that ads on Facebook are useful to people and not used to promote deceptive behaviour, including misusing images or text of public figures to scam people."

Kennedy is not the first Irish celebrity to be targeted in this manner.

RTÉ broadcaster Miriam O'Callaghan has issued defamation proceedings against Facebook for alleged failures over fake ads linking her to the sale of a face cream.

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