Fact Check: CBD Gummies Are NOT Endorsed By 'Pioneer Woman' Ree Drummond

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: CBD Gummies Are NOT Endorsed By 'Pioneer Woman' Ree Drummond Misleading Ad

Did Ree Drummond reverse her husband's Type 2 diabetes and launch a line of CBD gummies on live TV? No, that's not true: Unscrupulous marketers have hijacked Drummond's name and reputation using Facebook ads and a bogus version of her website "The Pioneer Woman" to sell unproven CBD supplements using a subscription trap scheme.

Drummond has been warning her fans about dishonest ads using her name since at least 2018. A recent example of such an ad is from a video published by the Facebook page "Food network in the kitchen" on January 20, 2022, under the title "Her Recipe Controls Sugar - 0 Meds Needed." It was captioned:

Using this 1/day can eliminate the need for checking sugar levels.

Below are two examples of ads as they appeared in the Facebook ad library at the time of writing:

reeadlibrary.jpg

(Image source: Facebook screenshots taken on Mon Jan 31 17:16:59 2022 UTC)

Ree Drummond has never endorsed a CBD product on her cooking show or thepioneerwoman.com website.

On July 23, 2018, and again on April 15, 2020, the Facebook page The Pioneer Woman - Ree Drummond published posts warning of false endorsements of diet weight loss pills, CBD oil and keto products. One post reads:

Hate to have to post, but: Please DO NOT BUY any CBD Oil or Keto products that are purported to be endorsed by me. These are fraudulent ads placed on Facebook by entities that are using my name and photo, and they are inventing quotes from me. They are elusive and hard to catch (I sure wish Facebook wouldn't make it so easy for them), and I hate the idea that they would take money from honest people. I put my name behind fun products that make your home and kitchen happier: pretty plates, fun kitchen accessories, pasta sauces, doggie treats, etc. I DO NOT endorse CBD oil or diet supplements, so if you see any of these ads, please report them to Facebook. Love you guys!!❀️

This is how those warning posts appear at the time of writing:

reeposts.jpg

(Image source: Facebook screenshots taken on Mon Jan 31 19:12:26 2022 UTC)

The ads link to an article on the website foodnetworkinthekitchen.com titled, "Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond's New CBD Line Reverses Type 2." It began:

In an insightful 1-on-1 interview, one of the world's most popular Food TV stars discusses how she reversed her husband's Type 2 diabetes and revealed that she wouldn't be where she is without CBD.
Professional chef, philanthropist, and author Ree Drummond made headlines after revealing her new CBD line on Live TV last week. Pharmaceutical companies were outraged saying they will be filing a lawsuit against Drummond and her partners for violating their contract and undercutting their prices. Ree 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 Keoni CBD Gummies available to everyone, as it can help thousands of people live pain free and much happier lives.

This spoofed foodnetworkinthekitchen.com website closely resembles the look of Ree Drummond's website thepioneerwoman.com. It uses the green script logo, the magenta subscribe button and the headline on the spoofed page is an aqua color popular in the Pioneer Woman product lines. The profile picture for the fake author "Alice Palmer" is actually a photo of Rebekah Lowin, a senior editor at Hearst Magazine Media. Below are screenshots of the banners of the two websites to compare.

reespoofcompare.jpg

(Image source: Lead stories comparison screenshots taken on Mon Jan 31 17:51:40 2022 UTC)

The foodnetworkinthekitchen.com also uses a deceptive tactic called cloaking to hide the true contents of the webpage from search engines. When a Facebook user navigates to the website by clicking on one of the Facebook ads, the website loads the false article by "Alice Palmer" about Pioneer Woman promoting a CBD product. If that same URL is archived with the Wayback Machine, the page displays as an online store selling towels.

reecloaking.jpg

(Image source: Lead stories comparison image of screenshots of the cloaked and spoofed website Mon Jan 31 19:46:14 2022 UTC)

When Lead Stories searched Google for the phrase, "In an insightful 1-on-1 interview, one of the world's most popular Food TV stars discusses how she reversed her husband's Type 2 diabetes and revealed that she wouldn't be where she is without CBD," the results return an article about celebrity cook Rachael Ray. The 2020diets.com article (archived here) by the same fictional journalist Alice Palmer is a spoof of TIME Magazine and has the same sidebar testimonials as the foodnetworkinthekitchen.com article. In this version, the gummy brand is "Green Earth CBD." In the Pioneer Woman ads the gummy brand was Keoni CBD Gummies or sometimes Natures Relief CBD Gummies. Clicking on the hyperlinked text, "Natures Relief CBD Gummies" opens a sales website naturesboostcbd.com with bottles labeled "Nature's Boost" -- not Natures Relief.

Comments left on the warning post on the Pioneer Woman Facebook page describe the subscription trap people fall into when responding to these ads. Frequently they believe they are ordering a reduced price offer, but they get charged more than they expected and they have difficulty getting the shipments canceled. One comment said:

Just checked my order and saw where I too have been duped. My amount came to well over $200.00 but I didn't order that much. Am going to call my bank first thing Monday morning.

Lead Stories has written about misleading advertising using false celebrity endorsements of Reba McEntire, Mark Harmon and Dr. Sanjay Gupta to name a few. Lead Stories reached out for comment to the Pioneer Woman digital media team at Hearst Magazine Media and will update this article as appropriate.

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


 

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