In Australia, Belle Gibson is a household name, dominating media coverage.
The 23 year old entrepreneur falsely claimed to have cured her cancer through a vigorous diet – in reality she never had cancer, so naturally has not healed it. Apparently, further explanation will come this weekend via an interview to take place this weekend on Australian 60 Minutes, for which media claims she was paid five figures to “take a grilling from Tara Brown on Sunday night.”
Australian media reports indicate that she made millions from endorsements with Apple – as well as sales of her diet app – and a book deal from Penguin Publishing.
After claiming to be healed, she provided diet and nutrition advice to tens of thousands urging them to treat illness without conventional medicine. The statements made along had the imminent signs of being a possible crisis in the works, but the following that came after her statements – made it a full blown crisis.
For some unknown and odd reason, a major Public Relations company, Bespoke Approach, provided her with pro-bono PR services, even arranging an interview in their offices with media outlets curious about this scam artist. Bespoke Approach founded by conservative political lobbyist Ian Smith, and Rupert Murdoch’s former spokesman, Andrew Butcher, is a partner.
Bespoke Approach no longer represents her. Although initially given in good faith, without the firms application of due diligence into the situation, make them look equally as bad in the situation.
Gibson has not provided any explanation, other than to say in passing, “I just think [speaking out] was the responsible thing to do. Above anything, I would like people to say, “Okay, she’s human.” Was the press of delivering free PR work to an unknown client was worth it? Time will tell for Bespoke Approach.
Her app is no longer carried by Apple, and her book, The Whole Pantry is no longer available in bookstores.