US comedian has managed to trick a host of TV stations into promoting a fake ‘sexual wellness’ blanket, as part of an expose into the world of sponsored content.
During his latest episode of Last Week Tonight, Oliver revealed he had created the ‘Venus Veil’ (complete with a website) and hired an actor to appear on local TV programs.
The Venus Veil advertises itself as ‘a discreet and convenient way to improve your sexual health’ and claims to use the ‘biological technique of magnetogenetics’ to ‘fix erectile issues and improve vaginal lubrication’.
To top it off, the technology behind the blanket is said to be created in Germany 80 years ago – around the time Adolf Hitler was head of state.
And while the blanket might sound completely ridiculous, for around $US2,000, Oliver and his team managed to convince three different broadcasters to air segments on news programs discussing the Venus Veil.
“Right now, it’s far too easy to make a ridiculous product that makes outlandish claims and get it onto local TV. And the reason I know that is, we did,” Oliver said. “We started a company called Venus Inventions and created something called the Venus Veil, an absurd medical product based on technology that absolutely doesn’t exist.”
You can see the spot below.
As well as embarrassing the networks, Oliver was attempting to highlight the problems with disclosure of sponsored content.
“And the FCC has rules requiring broadcast stations to announce when content has been sponsored or paid for in any way. Unfortunately, many local stations have either completely broken those rules or violated the spirit of them through a practice known as sponsored content,” where “advertising is blended directly into the broadcast,” he said.
There has been some fallout from the incident.
According to CNN, KVUE-TV in Austin and KMGH-TV in Denver – two of the stations caught up in the trick – are now reviewing their sponsored content processes.
A KVUE-TV spokesperson said that “while it is a commercial spot, it was an error to air it, and we are reviewing our processes, so this doesn’t happen again.”
Free TV has welcomed the federal government’s ongoing commitment to ensuring that all Australians can access their local free television services on connected TVs through the introduction of legislation to implement a prominence framework in coming days. Free TV CEO Bridget Fair (lead image) said: “Right now, Australian viewers are being steered in the direction […]
You’d be forgiven for thinking that radio presenters had already reached their creative potential by livening up the morning commute of drivers across the country, but that is not the case. About ten years ago, Nova 96.9 presenter Michael “Wippa” Wipfli realised that he had a saucy, undiscovered talent, just waiting to come out. The […]
Burger King in the UK has taken a unique approach to Christmas, releasing a Christmas carol sung by a car satnav. The campaign, by London agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, includes an almost eight-minute remake of Chris Rea’s hit “Driving Home for Christmas” that it’s retitled “Driving (Thru The) Home (Of The Whopper)”. The hypnotic track […]
New research has revealed that businesses are not acting quickly enough to preserve customer trust following a data breach, and that failure to effectively engage customers in a way that matches their expectations will result in irreparable long-term damage to brand reputation. Porter Novelli Australia, in partnership with Quantum Market Research, has conducted research to […]
Beauty brand Sephora has divided the internet after posting an ad for an adult toy to its global Instagram page which has more than 20 million followers. Since posting the advert, Sephora has since stopped allowing comments on the post, but thankfully (for B&T readers) we managed to grab a few before that happened. The […]
New research has revealed the most controversial TV commercials which have sparked outrage across the US, with big names such as Pepsi and Dove making the list. The findings, compiled by journey advertising platform illumin also includes a new ranking that identifies which states have made the most complaints about TV commercials over the past […]
A recent survey Pilot conducted shows that shame remains a solid barrier to men seeking professional help for sexual performance issues, so they started a campaign encouraging men to put it all out there, loud and proud. Pilot is a digital healthcare clinic, and since 2019, Pilot has given over 100,000 Aussie men convenient access […]
Creative agency FRED & FARID Shanghai has partnered with the international brand Guinness to make a mark on the Chinese market by envisioning and developing “A Whole Universe” – a visual odyssey honouring one of the most iconic beers. There are briefs that one cannot turn down, like the one to introduce the most iconic […]
Craig Reucassel (left) of The Chaser and dear friend of B&T, will take over hosting duties on ABC Sydney breakfast radio, with James Valentine returning to afternoons and Indira Naidoo handing over control of her evening show to producer Renee Krosch. Reucassel has produced three seasons of War on Waste for ABC TV since 2017 and last […]
New-generation media agency 27 Degrees Media has been appointed to manage digital media for national tyre retailer Tyreright in one of its first Australian client signings. Lead Image: Loan Morris – 27 Degrees Media CEO Under the partnership, 27 Degrees Media will be responsible for all digital media strategy, planning and buying, along with influencer […]
The Works has announced the launch of ‘Question Everything’ a new brand platform and campaign for their newest client, Archie Rose. As a nine-year-old independently owned and operated Australian multi-spirit distillery, Archie Rose has garnered a devoted following among existing customers, with a reputation primarily built on white spirits – particularly gin. However in line […]
Brisbane performance agency farsiight has announced the launch of its new market positioning, Growth for Good, in response to a changing business landscape, marking a departure from a “growth at all costs” mentality that has defined the industry in recent years. Agency founders and brother duo, Josh and Ben Somerville, envision Growth for Good as […]
Australia’s largest privately owned transit media supplier, GoTransit Media Group, now offers unprecedented options for transit advertising in Newcastle – on both land and sea following their successful tender to supply interior advertising inside the popular Stockton Ferries. The national transit media company is already well acquainted with the thriving NSW market, having successfully operated […]
Heritage and People’s Choice have launched People First Bank, the new name for positive change in banking Australia’s largest customer-owned bank has unveiled its new brand, announcing that Heritage and People’s Choice will be unified under the new name of People First Bank. Chairman Michael Cameron said the highly anticipated new brand offered a compelling […]
L’Oréal Groupe Australia and New Zealand have announced one of the largest investments to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation to pioneer new coral restoration efforts in the region. L’Oréal Groupe Australia and New Zealand have announced today a new partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation (GBRF), to help coral reefs withstand the devastating impacts […]
Effective immediately, S4Capital’s operating brand Media.Monks, a digital-first marketing and advertising services company, has appointed Matthew Godfrey to lead its APAC Content practice. With over 15 years of experience leading innovative businesses in the Asia-Pacific region, Godfrey will support a best-in-class senior leadership team across the region as EVP, head of content, APAC. He joins […]
Chandra Sinnathamby, Adobe’s director, digital media B2B strategy & GTM, Asia-Pacific, explains how the tech firm is empowering its small business customers with new AI tools, including its Adobe Firefly tools. In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, small businesses face numerous challenges when it comes to creating captivating content that resonates with their audience. Despite the […]
Summer mornings are heating up with Triple M again in 2023, thanks to the star-studded line-up of Harley Breen, Candice Warner and Tom Tilley, who are joining forces each weekday morning from 6-9 am for Triple M’s Summer Breakfast show. Airing from 4 to 15 December in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and streamed live on […]