While fake news continues to wreak havoc on unsuspecting Americans looking to prove their beliefs are not just conspiracy theories, one movie has decided to cash in on the viral phenomenon. BuzzFeed reports that A Cure for Wellness has partnered with several fake local news sites that create false political stories and unfounded celebrity gossip to run occasional ads for a fictional water brand that links to a website for the movie and to create hoax articles that include plot points and references to the world of the film.
A spokesperson from A Cure for Wellness explained the marketing campaign to BuzzFeed in a statement: “A Cure for Wellness is a movie about a ‘fake’ cure that makes people sicker. As part of this campaign, a ‘fake’ wellness site healthandwellness.co was created and we partnered with a fake news creator to publish fake news.” The outlets the movie paired with create articles that often go viral, including one about President Trump signing an executive order banning vaccines for children and another claiming Lady Gaga planned on including a salute to Muslims in her Super Bowl halftime show.
Though deliberately misleading the public for profit is important to both the characters in the movie and the creators of this fake content, the choice to deliberately align the Gore Verbinski picture with the type of content that once led an armed gunman carrying an assault rifle to enter a D.C. pizzeria because he was convinced of an Anti-Clinton conspiracy is bold at best. Some would call The Cure for Wellness sick.