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Belle Gibson fined $410,000 for building business off bogus cancer claims

Health blogging fraudster Belle Gibson has been fined $410,000 for falsely claiming her cancer was cured through alternative remedies.

Belle Gibson built a profile – and business – off the back of her claims

Gibson built a huge social media following and a wrote book off the back of the claims that therapies and nutrition cured her illness.

It was later revealed she never even had cancer.

Consumer affairs Victoria launched an investigation into Gibson’s claims, accusing her of making it up to promote her app and book, The Whole Pantry.

In June 2016 the consumer watchdog brought a civil case against Gibson and her company Inkerman Road Nominees, which has since shut down.

She also made false claims about donating profits to charities.

Gibson, who was not in court, was found guilty of five contraventions of Australian consumer law.

Legal experts told the Mumbrella Health and Wellness Marketing Summit earlier this month that brands and influencers should be aware of the legalities of social media posts.

Stephen Von Muenster, principal at DVM Law said that if a post is misleading, it is illegal.

“Just remember if your message is so successful and it gets out there and everyone is using the hashtag and everyone is seeing that and it’s being re-grammed or it’s being amplified in different ways, but at its core its misleading, it is wrong, it’s illegal,” he said.

“The more people that are mislead, the more the liability may be for the brand. At its core let’s get that messaging right and make sure we comply with the laws.”

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