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LadyMarissa's avatar

Should we be able to sue celebrities who give us bad advice?

Asked by LadyMarissa (16204points) June 13th, 2019

Before I retired, reverse mortgages were the going thing. I worked for a stock broker who always advised his clients to never sign up for the reverse mortgages. Fast forward to today, Tom Selleck is fiercely pushing reverse mortgages & even looks directly into the camera to say “Some people think that this is just the bank’s way to take your house, but my research shows that just is not true” as he proceeds to tell you how much easier your life will be if you take the reverse mortgage.

USA TODAY recently reported on all the people who took out a reverse mortgage about 10 years ago & today these homes are going into foreclosure with the elderly owners having no place to go.

My brother tried to talk me into taking out a reverse mortgage back when I was remodeling my house. I couldn’t remember why my boss had been so against the idea but it always caused me to hesitate on jumping into a reverse mortgage. Then Tom started assuring me that I’d be safe if I did take out a reverse mortgage & I started considering the idea once again. I did some research on my own & saw a clause stating that I wouldn’t have to pay back the loan as long as I lived in the house. I tend to overthink things & it made me wonder what would happen IF I had to go into a nursing home & could no longer live in my home. I didn’t call to ask the question because I didn’t trust the people providing the answers. I decided to wait a little longer.

When I saw the USA TODAY article, I remembered sexy Tommy assuring me that I wouldn’t lose my home & then I started wondering how many people would have chosen another option but chose to go with the reverse mortgage because they felt they could trust him. I’ve been smart enough to know that when a company pays a celebrity to endorse their product, there’s a good chance I’m being scammed. At the same time, I feel that many celebrities have just wanted a pay check & would say anything without regard to those that were listening to them.

Personally, I’ve always felt that celebrities who hawk any product that ends up being a scam should be held liable for their cooperation in the scam. It seems that they are automatically given a pass when they claim ignorance. Should they be held responsible for failing to do their homework before accepting a paycheck & providing false advertisement?

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19 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

Sure, you can sue anyone for anything, no matter how ridiculous.

You won’t win. In this case, you won’t even get to first base.

stanleybmanly's avatar

You know better than that! If you want to trust your house to a pretty face there’s a picture of ME on a bridge that can be yours.

LadyMarissa's avatar

@stanleybmanly Where’s the bridge??? When I look at old Tom, my mind is remembering young Tom in those shorts that almost exposed ALL & the impish grin that he was so accomplished at flashing!!!

@elbanditoroso I’m making NO plans to sue. I just feel celebrities should be held responsible for their actions!!! I’m pretty dayum sure that IF I conned Tom Selleck that he would have me arrested when he realized the scam. I hate to keep picking on Tom, but he’s the most recent celebrity to have his mug on a ton of commercials & he’s the first one to pop into my head.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Certainly you can sue, providing you can find a lawyer willing to try the case. That might be easier said than done.

JLeslie's avatar

If the celebrity has no real background in what they are recommending, they aren’t experts, then no, I don’t think you should trust them or sue them, I mean you can sue, but I don’t advise it, I don’t think you’ll win. I’d be more inclined to sue the company making false claims to sell their product.

Tom Selleck is not a financial advisor by profession, he’s just an actor. If Dr. Oz is pushing something medical that’s different, but even he is protected by standard of care, and on his show sometimes he’s just presenting ideas, and not necessarily pushing an idea.

Pretty much any commercial is buyer beware.

kritiper's avatar

No, that would constitute frivolity.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Brooklyn, the classic, but I will accommodate you with whatever bridge you wish. And as for old Tom, you and I are expected to appreciate that the former dreamboat would not be degrading himself if he didn’t need the money. Like the scam itself, he’s the lure for folks of his era, a percentage of whom are now addle pated, yet still own a house—folks who can no longer work the remote, but still grin at the recognition of a friendly face from their happy prime. And Tom could do worse. He could be doing ads for Depends.

LadyMarissa's avatar

Well hell, if he was advertising Depends, I’d buy them!!! LoL

stanleybmanly's avatar

Maybe he can get paid to slap his old mug on the box now that poor June Allyson is gone.

Inspired_2write's avatar

If one can sue celebrities then all commercials can be sued?
Especially those that endorse medical treatments,pills etc
Now it has to show clearly on TV commercials and in Ads that the celebrity or model is just that and has NO medical condition nor treatment such as the Ad advises.
Buyer beware always.
There are many Ads in magazines and on TV of diets and one in particular stands out.
link: ” Get a load of the comments in the comment section!” what a crock!

I remember her when she gained an enormous weight and then suddenly lost it all???
Either she had liposuction or she was never that fat in real life but wearing pads to look fat for before and after???

jca2's avatar

Wilford Brimley talking to you about diabetes, aka “dia-bee-tus.” Haha

Erik Estrada has some land for you to purchase, too.

Didn’t celebrities used to do cigarette commercials?

elbanditoroso's avatar

Chet Huntley and David Brinkley were sponsored by Camel cigarettes/

kritiper's avatar

Celebrities are just paid spokespeople. They don’t work for the companies/products they endorse, just the advertisers. It’s easy money.
And what could be wrong with that?
And nobody should get fired up about what might be bad about reverse mortgages. After all, it’s perfectly legal and President Ronald Reagan signed it into law.
So what could be wrong with that?
I myself had some bad experiences with the reverse mortgage Mom and Dad had on their house. When Mom had to move to an assisted care center, the bank foreclosed. That’s what they do to get their money back, if they can. And Mom and Dad got paid for the house.
So nothing was wrong with that.
I started processing paperwork to get a reverse mortgage for my house. But when I found out that I would have to get the house fixed up using the money I would get, which would not allow me to use the money as I wanted, I bolted.
There was something wrong with that!
But that’s the way it works. Celebrities or no celebrities. They don’t have anything to do with anything…
So why sue them??

gorillapaws's avatar

Would you sue Bart Simpson if a Butterfinger made you sick? What about Snoopy if your MET life didn’t meet your expectations? When it comes to expertise, I think actors are a great resource if you want to learn about acting, and possibly the film production process. I have no reason to believe them on any other topics than I would a bus driver or a professional dog walker.

seawulf575's avatar

Unfortunately, it isn’t the celebrity that is the problem in this case. It goes much deeper than that. The celebrity is the spokesperson. The advertising agency is the one that created the words he used and directed the filming of the commercial, including him looking right into the camera. And the banks were the ones paying the advertising agency to create that narrative.

But in the end, I think it really comes down to the people that signed up for these reverse mortgages. A company presents something that sounds like a win for you…that they are going to make life better for you. But there is no company out there willing to hand over potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars without the prospect of gaining more. It is up to the buyer to understand what they are getting and what the risks are that they run. And if you talk to those people that you don’t trust to give you a straight answer (or don’t get a straight answer when you ask straight questions), it should be a warning to walk away. If a company has to resort to deception to sell a product (or service), it means that product is flawed some way for the end user…the buyer.
Cave At Emptor!

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stanleybmanly's avatar

People are gullible. End of story. Pretty or not, if someone who earns their living bringing fiction to a tv screen pops up decades later on that same screen when he’s otherwise out of work, you might think it dubious that he is advising you on the disposition of your assets. Such ads are clearly designed for those of us of an age where we are vulnerable to dementia. I wonder how many people viewing that ad believed they were getting advice from an old friend or relative. But good luck trying to sue an out of work has been actor for acting.

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