Media

John Oliver Tricks Denver7 Show Into Pimping Phony Sex Health Blanket

A screen capture from a Venus Veil video on the Mile High Living Facebook page after HBO's John Oliver revealed the product was phony.
A screen capture from a Venus Veil video on the Mile High Living Facebook page after HBO's John Oliver revealed the product was phony. Mile High Living
The folks running the Facebook page for Mile High Living, an advertorial program aired on Denver7, appear to be a little slow on the uptake. As of 6 a.m. today, May 24, the top item on its timeline hypes the Venus Veil, promoted as "the first sexual wellness blanket," even though a segment on last night's edition of the Emmy-winning HBO program Last Week Tonight With John Oliver revealed the product to be a complete phony cooked up to show how easy it is to sucker local TV stations.

The Facebook page for Mile High Living, which buys time on Denver7, describes it as "a business show offering different ways to save so that you can get the most out of your mile high living! We also cover community and lifestyle!"

The plentiful use of exclamation points extends to the Venus Veil item, originally shared on Thursday, May 20. It reads: "We promise you've never felt a blanket like this before! The Venus Veil is the first sexual wellness blanket, using proprietary magnetic fibers to improve bloodflow, boosting performance and sensation.
Experience the fun and check out the Venus Veil at VenusInventions.com today!"

The website definitely exists, as one click will prove. But as Oliver explained on his May 23 show, its content, though presented with the utmost professionalism, is as fictional as the Venus Veil itself.


Here's the excerpt from the episode. The Venus Veil material starts at about the 16:20 mark, with the Mile High Living moment popping up just past 19:30.


Denver7 wasn't the only TV station to pimp the Venus Veil; outlets in Utah and Texas were also taken in. Oliver estimated the total cost of achieving this publicity bonanza at $7,200.

We've reached out to Denver7 and Mile High Living for comment.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts