From makeup products and skin care, to diet supplements and clothing brands, influencer advertising is the new billboard in a city centre. There’s no denying that if the right person is seen using your product you’re bound to rack in the orders. However, it’s never totally clear whether the celeb has actually tried the product they're promoting and a BBC Three documentary has sought to expose that. One influencer, Lauren Goodger, was duped into promoting a fake poisonous diet drink in a deal set up by the BBC.
As part of a new four-part BBC Three documentary, Blindboy Undestroys the World, Goodger was videoed taking a meeting where she was asked to promote Cyanora, a fake diet drink containing cyanide. In the clip Goodger’s agent says, “half these posts you see that people do, they're not even trying them half the time.” Goodger had previously promoted a product called Skinny Coffee on her social media and went on to say, “I never tried Skinny Coffee.” She continued:
“I've even had my own friends message me Laur, can you get me some of that Skinny Coffee, does it work? I'm like, do you not know this by now? And they're actually going and buying it, and I'm like, you know how this works.”
Hydrogen cyanide is a deadly poison and was used as a chemical weapon and in concentration camps during the two World Wars. It’s absolutely lethal if you consume it. Fellow reality stars Mike Hassini and Zara Holland were also caught on camera talking about the fake product. Speaking about the series satirist Blindboy told Metro, “we were very transparent. The product was clearly labelled hydrogen cyanide, and we wanted to see if they would consider selling it to their fans. Which would kill them.”
When told that he wouldn’t be able to try the product before promoting it Hassini, who now promotes himself as a fitness guru said, “that's absolutely fine. That's not a problem at all. From what I know, that all looks pretty natural.” Holland also agreed to promote the product on her social media channels without trying it before her agent stepped in.
In response to the story coming to light, a representative for Goodger told MailOnline: “Lauren was asked to go to an audition by her old management to attend a meeting to appear in an advert for a new water. There was no mention of what the water contained before the meeting. The money on the table was quite a large sum which was offered.” Goodger also told MailOnline, “I was asked to read a script which I did to screen test me for the job. This script was given to me at that precise moment. No deals were signed and it was an audition.”
The footage is part of a BBC Three documentary which will look at the world of celebrity influencers, the ethics of cosmetic surgery, and the impact of social media on anxiety. Blindboy Boatclub is a comedian who famously wears a plastic bag to cover his face and uses stunts, undercover reporters, and comedy to expose social issues.
Blindboy Undestroys The World is a four-part series and is available now on BBC iPlayer now.