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FACTCHECK

Debunked: Hoax ads featuring Alastair Campbell on the Late Late Show have proliferated on X.com

The ads are advertised and shared by ‘verified accounts’ despite being part of a cryptocurrency scam.

SCAM ADS CLAIMING that Bank of Ireland is suing British political strategist Alastair Campbell for revealing a cryptocurrency scheme have spread widely on X.com, formerly Twitter.

Both Campbell and Bank of Ireland have confirmed to The Journal that the ads are false.

“I can confirm that is a false advertisement, completely incorrect, no element of truth whatsoever,” a Bank of Ireland spokesperson said in an email.

Campbell also emailed The Journal to say that the ads were “not true” and that no legal action had been taken against him by the bank.

Campbell worked as a spokesperson and strategist for the Labour Party and Tony Blair in the UK and remains a controversial figure for promoting the British government’s case for the invasion of Iraq.

“Bank of Ireland sues Alastair Campbell for what he said on live TV”, one of the ads reads.

Other variations of the ad, often featuring the same screenshot of Campbell on the Late Late Show, read: “Deleted interview with Alastair Campbell, whom all banks fear”; “Many viewers paid attention to Alastair’s ‘accidental’ words and began to send message to the airwaves”; and “Behind the Scenes: The Untold Stories of ‘The Late Late Show’ Most Famous Host!”

These tweets lead to different URLs, but with identical content: a fraudulent copycat page looking like the Irish Independent, which contains a fake story about Campbell’s appearance on the Late Late Show with Patrick Kielty.

INDOAL A screenshot of the faked website, made to look like that of the Irish Independent

“The scandal erupted during a live broadcast when Alastair Campbell accidentally revealed his secret on the program,” the article begins.

“Many viewers paid attention to Alastair’s ‘accidental’ words and began to send messages to the airwaves. However, the program was interrupted by a call from the Bank of Ireland, who demanded that the program be stopped immediately.”

The article goes on to claim that, before being taken off the air, Campbell told Kielty that he had made millions by investing in an AI platform that trades cryptocurrency.

All of these scam posts have been shared by “verified” accounts. They are still promoted as paid ads into people’s feeds at the time of writing.

Verified accounts are marked with a blue tick on X.com. These had been used to mark authentic accounts of notable commentators or organisations. However, shortly after the takeover of the company by Elon Musk, they instead shifted to denote people who have paid for X.com’s premium features.

Elon Musk has said that these paid-for accounts would “destroy the bots”, and that accounts engaging in “spam/scam” would be suspended.

What actually happened

Campbell appeared on the Late Late Show last November, where he discussed politics alongside musician and podcaster Blindboy Boatclub.

The Irish Independent has featured stories mentioning Campbell recently, but none have any resemblance to the cryptocurrency story featured on the fake sites.

The Journal has debunked other ads with a similar format, including fake interviews with well-known figures, as well as the use of a series of URLS that all lead to the same content.

Last year, The Journal debunked scams featuring a fake interview of Eamon Ryan on the Tommy Tiernan Show, which was also supposedly interrupted by the Bank of Ireland; fake photos of presenter Tommy Bowe being escorted by PSNI officers.

We have also spotted hoax claims that newsreader Anne Doyle had been fired, and fake AI-generated videos featuring Elon Musk and Irish BBC newsreader Tadhg Enright.

Many of these were promoting similarly dodgy claims about cryptocurrency trading platforms.

Verdict

False. Bank of Ireland is not suing Alastair Campbell for his remarks on the Late Late show. Variations of this claim feature in scam ads promoted on X.com, previously known as Twitter. 

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