Be sure to check out the latest news on Kimkins, from David Wood at ConsumerAffairs.com:
Kimkins Diet Rolls On Despite Founder’s Excess Poundage
No starvation diet for “the Kimmer”
By David Wood
February 25, 2008
Waiting in line at your favorite grocery store is a guaranteed way to see the covers of magazines targeted toward women. It’s a real challenge to find just one week of a year where the cover of at least one check-out tabloid doesn’t have blaring headlines about weight loss or the most recent diet sensation.
“Better than gastric bypass!” “Kim lost 200 lbs in 11 months!” “Christin lost 100 lbs in 5 months!”
Those very comments appeared on the cover of the June 12, 2007 issue of Woman’s World Magazine. The story was a fascinating look at a weight loss diet known as Kimkins, created by Kim Drake, also known as the “Kimmer.”
The Woman’s World story begins by saying they sent out their spies to gather intelligence about Kimkins. The Kimkins website included numerous before-and-after pictures of not only the “Kimmer, but also happy members that had shed massive amounts of weight.
Woman’s World describes Kim as “smiling” when responding to questions. This implies that the Woman’s World interviewer was personally watching the response of Kim Drake. So, you would think that Woman’s World would have noticed that “Kim” was in fact a 300-pound woman.
Kimkins before & after, according to Woman’s World
The Kimkins website saw a huge increase in memberships due to the flattering Woman’s World cover story. Records introduced in connection with a class action lawsuit against Kimkins show that for the month of June, 2007, Kimkins pulled in over $1,200,000 in membership fees.
So great was the response that Kimkins needed to hire a public relations spokesperson — and there was no one better suited for the job than Christin Sherburne.
Christin’s picture had been featured on the Woman’s World cover, holding a pair of old jeans next to the headline: “Christin lost 100 lbs in 5 months!”
“I was excited about it,” said Christin. “I’ve been overweight all my life, and even though I had never met Kim Drake in person, I wanted to tell others how they could finally lose the weight as I did.”
Soon the Kimkins machine was in full throttle. Members were reporting faster weight loss than they had ever experienced on other diets, and Christin was in P.R. mode in her new role as spokeswoman for Kimkins. But little did Christin know what would happen next.
Job & hair loss
The job of a spokesperson is to represent your company and answer any questions that might be thrown your way, including those from the media. One day, Christin found herself facing questions that she couldn’t honestly answer … questions concerning medical claims and health issues related to the Kimkins diet.
“As a spokeswoman, people would ask me questions that I couldn’t answer, especially related to the medical safety of the diet,” said Christin.
Christin did the logical thing. She contacted Kim Drake, the founder of Kimkins. Christin sent a letter to the “Kimmer” in which Christin asked about medical claims of the diet.
Is the diet safe? Are medical authorities backing the diet? All reasonable questions that any spokesperson needs to be able to answer.
To Christin’s dismay, instead of getting answers to her questions, she received a pink slip. Kim Drake had removed Christin from her public relations job and offered her a much reduced role moderating the Kimkins forums.
While Christin might have been upset about losing her job, what was really upsetting was the fact she was losing her hair…….[………..]… MORE
“She (Heidi) went on this false advertising campaign. I think I lost count at 35 false testimonials and false weight loss stories,” said John E. Tiedt, an attorney and a member of the California Health Fraud Task Force.
“We now know that many of these pictures came from Russian bride websites. Even the so-called Kimkins website administrator was a fake, all created by Heidi,” Tiedt said.
“She had already made close to $2 million, but when she heard litigation was heading her way, she began an elaborate plan that would make it appear her business would be bankrupt by the time litigation occurred. In reality, she had over a million setting in a bank account,” Tiedt said.
ConsumerAffairs.com contacted Heidi Diaz but she said she could not comment due to pending litigation. A few hours later, she e-mailed us a complimentary member pass to the Kimkins website………To Read MORE
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