Published On: Mon, Jul 17th, 2017

Defence of Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop offers case study on how to sell snake oil

Enlarge (credit: Gety | Phillip Faraone)

This week, Gwyneth Paltrow’s high-profile lifestyle and e-commerce site, Goop, gave birth to a beautiful gift to the Internet—and it wasn’t a moon-powered vagina egg that invigorates our mystical “life force.” No, it was a perfectly crafted reference guide for how to sell snake oil.

It’s really quite impressive.

In case you’re unfamiliar—or just need an empowering refresher—Goop is a site directed mostly toward affluent women that peddles pricy products and overuses the word “empower” while dabbling in many forms of pseudoscience and quackery—everything from homeopathy to magic crystals and garden-variety dietary-supplement nonsense. Despite all logic and much hope for humankind, Goop has proven successful. With a posh, new-age vibe and Paltrow’s celeb status, it raised $ 15 to $ 20 million in venture capital last year alone. This year, the Goop group teamed with Condé Nast to begin publishing a quarterly print magazine as well as digital content. (Condé Nast also owns Ars, by the way.)

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Ars Technica UK

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