Brace yourselves for a terrible shock, everyone. Celebrities may endorse products without knowing what they really do — or if they do anything at all.
That’s the bombshell message behind a new complaint brought by the nonprofit organization Truth In Advertising against Goop, the lifestyle publication and marketing platform founded by Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow.
TINA.org, as it is widely known, claims that Goop has promoted a number of products as having healthful, healing, ameliorative or otherwise positive properties with no basis in fact.
The organization, which filed the complaint with two California district attorneys who work with the California Drug and Medical Task Force, cited over 50 instances “in which the company claims, either expressly or implicitly, that its products – or third-party products that it promotes – can treat, cure, prevent, alleviate the symptoms of, or reduce the risk of developing a number of ailments, ranging from depression, anxiety, and insomnia, to infertility, uterine prolapse, and arthritis, just to name a few.”
Some of the more bizarre examples include an egg-shaped jade stone that purportedly helps prevent uterine prolapse, and “Body “Vibe” “healing stickers,” which Goop says are made with the same carbon fiber material as NASA spacesuits. (NASA has stated there is no carbon fiber material in its spacesuits; Goop removed ads for the stickers in June.)
TINA.org also cited claims that a Carnelian crystal had healing powers and could treat infertility; Goop’s perfume “improves memory,” and its essential oils help with “chronic issues from anxiety and depression to migraines.”
TINA.org said it previously contacted Goop about rectifying these statements, but the site made only limited changes, prompting the ad watchdog to file the complaints with the state.
TINA.org executive director Bonnie Patten wrote on the group’s Web site: “Marketing products as having the ability to treat diseases and disorders not only violates established law but is a terribly deceptive marketing ploy that is being used by Goop to exploit women for its own financial gain. Goop needs to stop its misleading profits-over-people marketing immediately.”
Not all the claims are not linked to marketing consumer products. TINA.org also took issue with Goop’s endorsement of “earthing,” or walking barefoot to treat various ailments, including arthritis, insomnia and depression.
Asked about the “earthing” claim by talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel, Paltrow, who founded Goop in 2008, explained: “There’s some sort of electromagnetic thing that we’re missing. It’s good to take your shoes off in the grass.”