Northern Ireland news

Irish broadcaster O'Callaghan suing Facebook over fake face cream adverts

RTÉ broadcaster Miriam O'Callaghan is suing Facebook

RTÉ broadcaster Miriam O'Callaghan is suing Facebook over a string of fake adverts in her name.

The Prime Time presenter said she has been left with no choice, but to take action over the fraudulent face cream adverts, which first appeared on the social media giant in June last year.

Leading libel lawyer Paul Tweed is acting as Ms O'Callaghan's solicitor in the case

"It started off that I had launched a face cream," she told The Sunday Times.

"I thought, 'This is so mad, no one will believe it'. Then I listened to Joe Duffy's Liveline (last June), and there were women buying it.

"If anything, the situation has got much worse from 'I've launched my own face cream' to ' I have been sacked and axed because of my erratic behaviour' as clickbait, to get people to read about this face cream and buy it," the broadcaster said.

Some of the fake adverts also contain fake testimonials from fellow RTÉ presenters, Claire Byrne and Mary Kennedy as well as the actress Sharon Horgan.

Those who sign up for the skin cream, which is sometimes known as Alvera Tone pay an initial €5 for postage and packaging, but can be hit with a circa €100 if they don't return the 'sample' jar of cream within a short space of time.

"Dermot Ahern, the former minister for justice, phoned last week to say a family member had bought the cream. He had to stop the (credit) card," she continued.

"The receptionist in RTÉ is constantly being phoned up by people asking, 'Has Miriam left for her face cream?' Everyone is believing it."

Last week financial journalist Martin Lewis dropped a campaign lawsuit against Facebook after the social network agreed to donate £3 million to Citizens Advice and set up a new scam advert prevention project.

The founder of took the decision to sue Facebook following a raft of fake ads featuring his picture.

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