Web marketing

Complaint: TV’s Mayim Bialik Doesn’t Endorse CBD, Despite Web Ads

Many celebrities are promoting products containing cannabidiol (CBD) these days, but actress and TV personality Mayim Bialik is not one of them.

Yet internet ads keep popping up proclaiming her support for CBD — with internet marketers presumably cashing in on her likeness — so the “The Big Bang Theory” and “Jeopardy!” The host was forced to file a lawsuit earlier this month seeking damages related to the alleged misuse of his name and likeness to sell CBD.

“Because of Bialik’s fame, his name, his image, his likeness. and personality enjoy wide recognition and have significant commercial value,” according to the complaint filed by Bialik’s attorneys in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Bialik will not “allow the use of her name, likeness or persona in any media for any company or product that she has not personally vetted and carefully selected based on her personal values ​​and beliefs. .

The complaint identifies a collection of third-party social media accounts and news websites that link to e-commerce webpages selling CBD-containing products. The ad at issue includes fake company names such as “Mayim Bialik CBD Gummies,” “Mayim Bialik CBD Oil US,” and “Mayim Bialik CBD,” among others.

The largely anonymous network of web sites, advertisements and publications – the complaint mentions no named defendants, but rather lists the web and email addresses involved in the alleged scheme – has been traced to IP addresses in the Dominican Republic, in France and India. The lawyers described the operation as “an interconnected ecosystem that functions as an online marketing operation”, based on false mentions.

“This scam not only damages the reputation and credibility of Bialik, which it has spent years cultivating and earning, but inflicts equal harm and risk on consumers who may be lulled into a false sense of security when of their purchases. [CBD products] thinking Bialik helped bring them to market and endorses their use, which she does not,” her lawyers wrote.

Bialik — who also notably earned a doctorate in neuroscience — is seeking an injunction as well as sales profits via the complaint. She also seeks punitive damages and related attorneys’ fees and costs.

Other celebrities and CBD

Shadowy online CBD retail networks have falsely attached many high-profile celebrities to their marketing campaigns, which has also led to other complaints.

Clint Eastwood was awarded $2 million in federal court in California last week following a lawsuit brought against an internet marketing company that illegally used his fame to drive traffic to a website selling CBD products.

It was Eastwood’s second legal victory against companies using his likeness to sell CBD. Last year, he was awarded $6.1 million after filing multiple lawsuits in federal court against three CBD manufacturers, who Eastwood claims abused his image to sell CBD. One case involved ads and websites promoting fake interviews resembling NBC’s “Today Show.”

More recently, the unauthorized image and likeness of actor Johnny Depp has been linked to a CBD sales campaign, according to Snopes.

The fact checker described how a paid advertisement on Facebook led to a webpage designed to try to trick readers into thinking they were on the official Fox News website and that Depp had endorsed CBD gummies. Neither is true, says Snopes.

The fake Depp articles and advertisements also prominently featured images of Depp with actor Paul Bettany and musician Keith Richards, also falsely attributing CBD credits to them.