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Willie Ong victim of yet another fake endorsement video

A Facebook page recently posted a video falsely claiming that cardiologist Willie Ong has endorsed its probiotic supplements.

The video containing the spurious claim posted on May 24 by Up5 Probiotics - Ultimate Gut Health lifted parts of a YouTube video of Ong talking about probiotics and ran a false caption on top of it saying, “Why should you take UP5 Probiotics.”

The edited video was also accompanied by a fabricated caption:

Ako si Dr. Willie Ong, at ngayon gusto kong ibahagi ang tungkol sa isang maaasahang produkto na nagdudulot ng maraming benepisyo sa ating kalusugan - Up5 Nano Probiotics (I am Dr. Willie Ong, and now, I want to talk about a certain product that will cause many health benefits - Up5 Nano Probiotics). 

While Ong did explain the benefits of consuming probiotics in the original video, he never mentioned any brand of supplements. 

Up5 Probiotics is not listed in the Philippine Food and Drug Administration’s online verification portal which lists establishments that are licensed to operate and health products that have been issued a Certificate of Product Registration/Notification.

The page also features an altered image of actress Gladys Reyes as cover photo, making it appear that she too is an endorser of Pro5 Probiotics. A reverse image search revealed that the original photo was from a 2021 advertisement for Ajinomoto.

Ong is frequently falsely represented as an endorser of various products. These have been debunked by various fact-checking bodies:

In a YouTube video, Ong cautioned his viewers about fake pages using his and his’ wife Liza, advising his audience to only get information from his official social media platforms. In 2023, he clarified through a Facebook post that his only endorsement is Birch Tree Advance. 

The misleading video has garnered 5,000 views, 30 comments, 120 reactions and 13 shares. The Facebook page was created on Jan. 12, 2021 and has 142 likes and 262 followers. (KM)


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