Bethenny Frankel sues TikTok over ad with her image

Bethenny Frankel is suing TikTok for allegedly allowing scammers to use her “image and likeness” to promote counterfeit products on the platform.

According to documents obtained by Vidak For Congress, the “Real Housewives of New York City” alum claims that some of her 994,600 followers notified her in September when they saw what appeared to be Frankel promoting a counterfeit designer vest.

Frankel says, according to the documents, a scammer shot a previous video of her singing her praises for another vest and edited it to make it look like she was actually promoting the fake product — without her permission.

The Skinnygirl founder says that after seeing the alleged scam, she posted her own video warning her followers against the “unauthorized and illegal use of her persona to sell counterfeit goods”, but claims TikTok removed the video because it ” offensive”, according to the filing.

In addition to seeking damages after her reputation suffered “significant injuries and irreparable damage,” Frankel is also asking for changes to TikTok’s advertising policy, which she claims does not “monitor” these types of ads.

Influencers such as Frankel must “continuously monitor unauthorized use of their name, portrait, photograph and voice to ensure counterfeiters and other unauthorized parties are not selling counterfeit and other unauthorized products using their personas, voices, content or likenesses,” the lawsuit continued.

“This requires significant time and investment from content creators, effort that is not always successful, and it is not compensated by TikTok in any form.”

A selfie of Bethenny Frankel
The “RHONY” alum is also pushing for “broad changes to impose stricter rules on TikTok’s ads.”

Although Frankel claims that the social media platform has removed one of her warning videos, she has posted at least three separate videos discussing the scam and her intentions to sue.

“This is something that needs to be addressed as it is a breeding ground for scams,” she said in a TikTok video posted on Sept. 18. “What if this really hurts my image? Because a lot of people feel like, ‘oh she’s sold out.’”

“These people are garbage, rogue scammers who steal, and their products are garbage, and they don’t buy them,” she added in another September 18 video.

Bethenny Frankel poses for a photo
The podcast host “Just B With Bethenny Frankel” took to social media to encourage other influencers to follow in her footsteps.
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The reality TV star doubled down on her suit, encouraging fellow influencers to voice their opinion if they find themselves being “violated without protection” in the “reckless market” too.

“I have a voice. It is my right and responsibility to use it and encourage others to do so constructively,” Frankel wrote on Instagram on Thursday.

“Consumers and creators are being exploited without any ability or power to defend and protect themselves. That stops now.”

Frankel added that she “will not stop her crusade” until “myself, my community and our children are protected”.

A TikTok spokesperson told the Washington Post that they already have “a strict policy of both protecting people’s hard-earned intellectual property and banning deceptive content from TikTok.”

“We regularly review and improve our policies and processes to combat increasingly sophisticated fraud attempts and further strengthen our systems,” they said.

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