Oprah and Nigella Featured in Deepfake Influencer ‘Manifestation’ Ads


Celebrities such as Piers Morgan, Nigella Lawson, and Oprah Winfrey have spoken out against the use of AI deepfake technology in online advertisements promoting a self-help course by US influencer Wesley “Billion Dollar” Virgin. The adverts falsely implied that the celebrities had endorsed Virgin’s “Genie Script” manifestation course, which claimed to reveal a life-changing Hebrew Bible scripture. These deceptive ads combined pseudo-science, conspiracy theories, and celebrity likenesses to attract customers seeking to improve their lives.

The deepfake adverts featured fake audio and video impersonations of celebrities like Nigella Lawson and Piers Morgan, who disavowed any association with Virgin’s product. The use of manipulated media to deceive users is prohibited by platforms like YouTube and Meta, which have taken down the offending ads. Experts warn that as deepfake technology improves, it will become harder to detect these fakes.

Despite facing backlash from celebrities and platforms, Wesley Virgin continues to promote his manifestation courses through affiliate marketing tactics. These tactics involve misleading claims about the course’s content and its supposed benefits, leading users to online checkouts after watching sales pitch videos. The promotional videos for the Genie Script course draw on religious beliefs and make false claims about ancient texts, attracting users with promises of wealth and success.

While some celebrities featured in the ads have taken action to distance themselves from Virgin’s products, he remains active on social media, touting his ability to help people become millionaires. However, platforms like Digistore24 have cut ties with him due to violations of their terms and guidelines. Despite criticism and scrutiny, Wesley Virgin continues to sell his “dream” of financial success through questionable marketing practices.

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