We’ve received a number of requests over the years to research whether celebrities had endorsed Cannabidiol, or CBD products. We initially were unable to track down some of the misleading pages that featured these claims. Now, we know why. We’ll begin with actor Tom Selleck and the claim that CBD oil was his “latest business venture.”
Step 1: The Misleading Advertisement
The first step in the creation of the strange rabbit hole began with a Google advertisement just like this one. It read: “Tom ‘Removed’ from ‘Blue Bloods.'”
As we previously reported, there was no truth to this rumor. Once readers clicked the Google ad, they were led to the second step of the scheme.
Step 2: The Celebrity Sales Pitch
After following the ad, a specialized page loaded on the travel-alive.myshopify.com website. We have uploaded a PDF of the page for readers to view. It mentioned nothing about “Blue Bloods.”
The page featured Selleck and a purported sales pitch for CBD oil products. The headline, purportedly in Time magazine, read: “Tom Selleck’s Latest Business Venture Sparks Tension With CBS and Big Pharma – He Fires Back With This!”
(TIME) – In an insightful 1-on-1 interview, one of the world’s most popular actors reveals how he “wouldn’t be here without CBD.”
Gifted star, and business genius, Tom Selleck, made headlines after revealing his new CBD line on Live TV last week. CBS executives were outraged saying Tom’s project directly violated a merchandizing contract linked with ‘Blue Bloods’ to his name and image. Selleck responded with this:
“When I started this whole thing back in 2015, it really was just a part time passion project and a way for me to give back. After being given so much, I figured there was no better time to make Prime Nature CBD available to everyone, as it can help thousands of people experience life pain-free and live much happier lives.”
His product, Prime Nature CBD, has been flying off the shelves within minutes and Tom Selleck says his number one struggle as CEO is being able to keep up with demand. His CBD wellness line is 90% cheaper and five times more effective than those being offered by Bayer and other “Big Pharma” companies who have known ties and advertising agreements with CBS Network.
Bayer and Purdue Pharma were furious after seeing a massive dip in sales from their advertising spots on CBS, calling for Tom Selleck to be indicted, saying: “We’re happy Mr. Selleck found something to replace prescriptions, but a contract should mean something. His network should fire him immediately and he should formally apologize.”
Tom Selleck appeared on Live TV again the next day, not to apologize, but to offer viewers free samples.
This was not true. It appeared to all be fabricated. Selleck was not a spokesperson for CBD oil products. Further, Time magazine had no involvement with any of this. There was also no indication that People magazine or other big-name publishers had involvement.
Drew Carey, Tom Hanks, Randy Jackson, and Halle Berry also purportedly gave testimonials for the Prime Nature CBD product. However, those were also misleading and fake. We previously reported about the late Alex Trebek and his likeness being misused on CBD oil websites, as well.
Step 3: The Purchase Page
Readers who clicked “Claim My Free Bottle” on the misleading celebrity page were led to a purchase page. However, this one click went through several other pages in a chain. These are called redirects.
Hovering over “Claim My Free Bottle” revealed the website petime-wansive.icu/click. Clicking that link went through l1jk2l3j1kl1kj27k21j.com (yes, that is a real domain name), and then a landing page.
On the purchase page, interested customers were asked to fill out their information. Once the information was submitted, the page displayed a countdown of five minutes. It said that a 40% off savings would expire within that time frame. The page claimed that stock was low and “sell out risk” was high. Logos for credit card companies were visible. It also displayed logos for Federal Express, UPS, and the USPS. We noticed several logos for security and antivirus software, plus other strange icons. Needless to say, the page did not appear trustworthy.
We decided to go back and check part of the celebrity page from step 2 that featured Selleck and others. However, it was gone.
Step 4: The Disappearing Celebrity Page
Further attempts to reload the celebrity CBD page that featured Selleck resulted in a strange DVD sales page. It featured the 1990 Selleck film, “Quigley Down Under.” The CBD oil pitch page that featured him and the other celebrities had disappeared from view.
So, what happened? Why didn’t the celebrity page load anymore?
Step 5: The Deception
We looked into the strange disappearance of the celebrity page, and found that it was a matter of cloaking. Cloaking involves serving one kind of page to website visitors and another kind of page to search engines. According to Google, it’s a no-no in the world of website management.
In technical terms, the page used an inline frame (IFrame) in the coding of the website. The page with Tom Selleck’s CBD story showed up in one context, but the DVD purchase page showed up in the other. An analogy would be when someone shows one set of books to a tax preparer and another set of books to the bank.
In sum, Tom Selleck was not and is not a CBD oil products spokesperson. The entire thing reeked of a scam. We recommend steering clear of any of these kinds of pages.
Snopes debunks a wide range of content, and online advertisements are no exception. Misleading ads often lead to obscure websites that host lengthy slideshow articles with lots of pages. It’s called advertising “arbitrage.” The advertiser’s goal is to make more money on ads displayed on the slideshow’s pages than it cost to show the initial ad that lured them to it. Feel free to submit ads to us, and be sure to include a screenshot of the ad and the link to where the ad leads.