Family’s Photo Misused in Facemask Ad Claiming They Died From Covid-19

source: CNN

A Californian family had their photo (pictured above) stolen and used in a fake Facebook ad by a company selling protective masks. The advertisement claimed that the entire family had died from contracting Coronavirus after attending a church event, with the only sole survivor being their youngest son (pictured far left).

source: Daily Mail

According to CNN, the ad begins by showing the family photo while sombre music plays in the background accompanied by a text excerpt which reads: “Youngest son from a family of 5 is the sole survivor from the deadly pandemic after wearing a CDC approved respirator.”

Understandably, Sara Ancich – the mother featured in the photo, was pretty distraught after her brother-in-law informed her about the fake ad circulating online and told CNN that “it was sickening and it was violating.” She also revealed that the stolen photo was taken over eight years ago by a professional photographer who previously posted it on his website but has since removed it.

Different version of the ad. source: Boom

What’s even more bizarre is the fact that other versions of the advertisement had previously surfaced online which featured different video clips and images but followed the exact same script while promoting the brand ‘FilterMax’. Each ad goes into detail about FilterMax’s various features and claims to be FDA-approved without any actual evidence to support that claim.

A spokesman from Facebook apologised to Ancich’s family and assured that Facebook will “continue working to stop people from exploiting this crisis for financial gain by banning the sale of masks and other products that are linked to predatory behavior.” The ad in question has also been taken down from Facebook but some American news channels still have parts of it featured on their Youtube pages.

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