Ad Alert

Oprah’s Anti-Aging Secret? Not Likely

Website really links to Vitalie Skin Care Serum and Lumalift Eye Cream, which have secrets of their own.

Ad Alert

Oprah’s Anti-Aging Secret? Not Likely

Say it ain’t so, O!

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We recently saw the above ad while browsing online. And we were indeed shocked. How could Oprah, a woman revered for her charity — particularly her penchant for giving away cars to an entire TV audience (“You get a car! You get a car! Everybody gets a car!”) — be a liar? We clicked on the ad.

It brought us to a website touting the anti-aging benefits of two skin care products — Vitalie Skin Care Serum and Lumalift Eye Cream — which together make up “Oprah’s anti-aging secret” — you know, that thing she’s kept hidden for years and for which she is now being exposed.

But there’s plenty — and we mean plenty — to suggest that that’s not true at all. For one thing, the website is an apparent knockoff designed to resemble the website for Woman’s Day magazine, an actual publication. The header that appears on the latter:

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And the header on the site claiming to out Oprah:

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See what they did there? “Day” becomes “Way” and a registered trademark symbol disappears. Magic. But that’s hardly the only red flag indicating that the real purpose of the site is not so much to expose Oprah as it is to sell two suspect skin care products with a highly unlikely connection to the media giant. Let’s look at some others:

  • Facebook flop — Those 5,654 Facebook “Likes” you see in the header? Yeah, not real. The like button links to, not any particular Facebook page.
  • Beatrice King from San Diego — This woman’s before-and-after photos appear to be something of a sensation on shady websites selling skin care products. Only problem is it’s the same two photos with the only change being the product name neatly plugged in to the text of the testimonial below. Exhibit A:
  • Slide1The “free” bottle promotion — Both skin care products billed as Oprah’s anti-aging secrets are offered up with a promotion for a free bottle that — lucky for you — ends on whatever day you visit the site. But this promotion carries a price and that price is automatic enrollment into an auto-shipment program that will charge you $89.73 every month if you do not cancel within 14 days of placing your promotion order. Yikes.
  • Grandma — Beatrice King from San Diego isn’t the only one whose image makes duplicate appearances on these types of sites. On the Oprah site, the featured story of a 72-year-old grandma from Louisville, K.Y., said to have experienced tremendous results within 14 days of using Vitalie and Lumalift, is accompanied by a photo that has made previous rounds on the Interwebs.

Phony celebrity endorsements go hand in hand with suspicious skin care products. Questionable websites have also used the likes of Ellen DeGeneres and Sandra Bullock to peddle their products. And this wouldn’t be Oprah’s first rodeo: In 2009, she and Dr.Oz sued 50 businesses on allegations of false endorsements.

Read more about these deceptive tactics and negative-option offers here.

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