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Hoax: water to wine product a PR stunt

The Miracle Machine, a product which claimed to convert water into wine in just three days, generating significant interest around the world, has been exposed as a PR stunt.

Last week PACE reported on the US Miracle Machine which claimed to be capable of making a number of different styles of wine including chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon for as little as two US dollars per bottle; all it required was a sachet of ingredients, and claims to allow users to monitor the progress of the fermentation process via a smartphone app.

"Just like the Bible miracle, it literally turns water into wine, with just the addition of a few ingredients in a fraction of the time and cost it would normally take," said Kevin Boyer, who together with Philip James (both from CustomVine) announced the product’s release.

It’s since been revealed, however, that the machine is a hoax.

“The disruptive program concept was initiated as a pro-bono campaign to support not-for-profit ‘Wine to Water’, an organisation that provides people around the world with access to clean water, one of life’s basic necessities,” the press release announcing the hoax reads.

“In just under two weeks, the Miracle Machine went viral with over 500 million media impressions as more than 200,000 people watched the Miracle Machine video, nearly 600 media outlets around the world covered the story, 6,000 people tweeted about it, and 7,000 people signed up for a potential crowd-funding platform to invest in the faux machine.”

Wine to Water is asking fans of the Miracle Machine concept to turn their attention to the charity and purchase a commemorative bottle of Miracle Machine Wine.

One of the first (if not the first) journalist to report on the Miracle Machine, Alyson Shontell from Business Insider, explains how she was misled and details conversations she had with Philip James in this article.

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