Coronation Street stars caught up in fake firm's products sting
- Bang Showbiz
- 3 July 2013
'Coronation Street' stars were tricked into promoting free gifts - unaware they were from a fake brand set up by investigators as a front for Channel 4's 'Dispatches' programme into possible breaches of Advertising Standards Authority rules
'Coronation Street' stars were duped into promoting free gifts - unaware they were from a fake brand.
Several of the ITV soap's actresses, including Brooke Vincent (Sophie Webster), Catherine Tyldesley (Eva Price) and Georgia May Foote (Katy Armstrong), were tricked into plugging products by investigators who set up a bogus company called Puttana Aziendale - Italian for "corporate wh**e".
The show beauties were invited to Manchester's posh Great John Street Hotel for a "gifting event" - which aims to persuade celebrities to promote products to their Twitter followers - where the fake firm had set up a stand.
But the counterfeit company was in fact a front for Channel 4's 'Dispatches' programme into possible breaches of Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) rules, which state anyone who plugs a free gift must make it obvious their message is an advert.
A source told The Sun newspaper: "This is very embarrassing for all the stars involved.
"Corrie stars get invited to these gifting events all the time.
"But at this one they were fed a load of rubbish about the mystical powers of completely fake products and it looks like they fell for it hook line and sinker."
The bogus brand handed the 'Coronation Street' stars an array of gifts such as an "energising bracelet", which was supposedly made and blessed by Buddhist monks, as well as an "anti-ageing" skin toner.
Following the event, several Corrie beauties took to Twitter to thank the company for their gifts, including Cherylee Houston (Izzy Armstrong) who was delighted with her new bracelet, which was supposed to generate "positive energy".
She wrote: "Well I've slept in my bracelet and I've sprayed my face several times. Thank you so much I love them!"
Brooke wrote: "Thank you to @aziendale for my lovely healing anklett!! :) xx"
An ITV spokeswoman said: "The programme has made allegations that are false and highly defamatory and we have written to the producer threatening legal action if they decide to broadcast."
Channel 4 said: "We do not comment on upcoming Dispatches programmes."