Actress slams food firm for unauthorized use of name

The China Post staff

Popular local actress Kuang Ming-chieh yesterday went public with accusations that a local company made unauthorized use of her name to promote the beauty tonic it produces.

Threatening legal action, Kuang demanded the firm immediately cease using her name in magazine advertisements for a health food product said to contain growth hormone and enhance beauty. Kuang said the advertisement had first come to her attention when she was contacted by a group of fans and modeling agencies wanting to verify with her whether she had indeed been using the product as part of her beauty regimen as advertised. A puzzled Kuang made some investigations and was shocked to find herself a spokesperson for the company in question, having supposedly vouched for the product’s effectiveness. Kuang said she had never used the growth hormone product which, at NT$12,000 a bottle, is advertised as being able to transform the appearance as well as improving sleep quality, lowering blood pressure and preventing heart disease. Having delivered her ultimatum to the product’s manufacturers, the popular entertainer also urged authorities to conduct a full inquiry into the incident in order to safeguard consumers’ rights. The accused company, however, has denied any responsibility for the advertisements, claiming it did not fund them. Shih Chiang, a senior company official, also claimed that the ads were actually part of the magazines’ feature segments independently submitted by eager reporters. Shih insisted that he had not been not aware of the magazine segments and claimed to be a victim of the scandal as well. Meanwhile, officials at Taipei City’s Bureau of Health (BOH) yesterday said they would soon launch a probe into the incident and test the product to see whether it was, in fact, a health food or a medicine. BOH officials said once the product’s medicinal properties are determined, the legality of the product and its manufacturers’ marketing strategies will become clearer.