The Claim: Oprah launched a weight-loss gummies brand that’s featured in Facebook video ads
A series of sponsored videos, widely shared on Facebook, use Oprah Winfrey’s name and likeness to spread a well-known clickbait trope, claiming that a celebrity-endorsed product — in this case, weight-loss gummies — is going to can result in significant weight loss.
“Grab your fitness rubber from Oprah!” reads the caption of a Facebook ad that has been viewed more than 120,000 times since April 27.
Other videos with tens of thousands of views make similar claims, mixing shots of Winfrey and other celebrities with shots of colorful gummy bears.
The Facebook ads link to external websites where users can buy the gummies. One post links to a website with a story purportedly from TIME Magazine stating that Oprah partnered with Weight Watchers to launch the “Weight Loss Wonder Gum” product.
//But there is no such article and no such confirmation. These videos encourage a scam, a Winfrey spokesperson told USA TODAY.
“These ads are a complete invention,” Nicole Nichols, Winfrey’s senior vice president of communications, wrote in an email. “Oprah has nothing to do with this gummy product and does not endorse any such diet or weight loss pill.”
USA TODAY has reached out to multiple sites behind the ads for comment.
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Winfrey doesn’t sell weight loss gummy bears
While Winfrey has a partnership with and a stake in WW International, the company formerly known as Weight Watchers, USA TODAY has been unable to find evidence that Winfrey sponsors or sells gum weight loss products.
Nichols told USA TODAY that the star has never sold weight loss supplements in the past, and has no plans to sell them in the future. She also said the footage used in the ads was not authorized by Winfrey.
However, according to reports from Politifact and Lead Stories, videos spreading the false claim have been circulating since at least February 2022. It’s unclear if the pages where the ads are posted are linked.
Previously, USA TODAY identified several Facebook ads that falsely claimed celebrities sponsored their products, including videos claiming that Shark Tank judges endorsed a keto diet pill and others claiming that the Pioneer Woman advocated CBD gummies that would “reverse diabetes.”
Fact check:Facebook ads falsely claim that CBD gummies can “reverse diabetes.”
Our rating: Wrong
Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that Winfrey launched a weight loss gum brand featured in Facebook video ads. A Winfrey spokesperson told USA TODAY that Winfrey had nothing to do with the product, and USA TODAY found no other evidence of a legitimate connection between the product and Winfrey.
Our fact check sources:
- Nicole Nichols, May 11, email correspondence with USA TODAY
- Lead Stories LLC Feb 8 Fact Check: Oprah Winfrey DOES NOT endorse diet pill who ‘lost her 60 in 6 weeks’
- Politifact, May 10th, Oprah Winfrey doesn’t sell diet pills
- USA TODAY 11.16, WW, formerly Weight Watchers, introduces the new myWW+ program with more personalization and support amid COVID-19
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