Lady Gaga, Robert De Niro, and other high-profile celebrities have teamed up for a vague commercial promoting the so-called ‘WELL Health-Safety Seal,’ an expensive endorsement for business owners that many are panning as useless.
“If you want to get back to your favorite places and feel confident they have put your health and safety first,” Jennifer Lopez says as the video opens, followed by numerous other celebs chiming in to inform viewers: “look for the WELL Health-Safety Seal.”
“Everything may look the same, but the WELL Health-Safety Seal means that your health and safety are top of mind,” De Niro later says, as generic corporate-style music plays in the background.
The ad – directed by none other than Spike Lee – only vaguely explains what this seal actually is. Paul Scialla, the founder of IWBI’s (International WELL Building Institute) parent company Delos, shows up to promise that the safety endorsement is based on “years of input and research.”
Every business from stadiums to banks is mentioned as a possible place where the seal can be found, with things like “cleaning and sanitizing procedures,” “emergency preparedness programs” and “health services” being considered.
The ad’s vagueness and the promise of a celebrity-approved seal of approval for businesses in a Covid-19-plagued world raised alarms on social media as the ad spread, with some mocking the “new world order” feel of the commercial and others pointing out some inconvenient details about this seal.
I think the video would have been more effective if they all just chanted “Gooble, gobble, we accept you, we accept you, one of us, one of us!” https://t.co/I0mrlC038D
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) April 2, 2021
“‘Years of research’ ? Even though the pandemic is only a year old but they’ve been preparing for this for years. I’m calling BS on these fools,” one user wrote in response to Scialla’s comments.
Others took the dystopian theme a step further by pointing out that parent company Delos is also the name of the fictional corporation in ‘Westworld,’ a science fiction film now remade as an HBO series where people pay for the right to use androids for sport, including killing.
Is this an April fool’s joke? The guy’s company is called Delos like the company in Westworld, and the fictional company’s logo looks kind of like this “seal” pic.twitter.com/4PVyN8sUTE
— Dmitriy Mandel aka Schnitzel 🐈 (@mndl_nyc) April 1, 2021
Not mentioned in the ad is the fact that a seal can cost over $12,000.
How does one receive this magical seal after writing the check? Your business must meet the standards for 15 out of a 22-point criteria list related to air and water quality, sanitation, etc.
As some have pointed out, however, there is no hands-on testing by the company, with everything being “entirely documentation-based.”
And the worst part is… they get extorted for a rating that is all document based. No performance testing. 🤣🤣🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/5ssSnsKqrP
— Chuck Anderson (@anderchuckinc) April 1, 2021
A brief bit from the ad squeezed in towards the end also reveals that this Lady Gaga-approved seal “does not guarantee that a space is safe or free from pathogens.”
Celebrities promoting this health seal are referred to as “ambassadors” on the Well Certified website.
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