The Federal Trade Commission has upheld an Administrative Law Judge’s May 2012 decision that the marketers of POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice and POMx supplements deceptively advertised their products as being able to would treat, prevent, or reduce the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer and other conditions. Continue reading ‘FTC Upholds Administrative Judge’s POM Wonderful Decision’
Spencer Reese will present on key legal elements for network marketers at the February 21-22 Direct Selling Symposium in Salt Lake City. Learn how to run your network marketing business legally and ethically. Continue reading ‘Reese to Speak on Compensations Plans, Distributor Compliance at Direct Selling Symposium’
PUH, which markets products under the brand names Pharmacists Ultimate Health and Doctor’s Natural Therapy, and its president, Stephen J. Poindexter, have entered into a consent decree of permanent injunction sought by the Food and Drug Administration for allegedly distributing unapproved new drugs and adulterated dietary supplements. Continue reading ‘Drug and Dietary Supplement Maker Signs Consent Decree Sought by FDA’
Circa Direct LLC and Andrew Davidson will pay more than $2 million to settle the FTC complaint charging them with deceptive advertising by operating fake news websites to promote acai berry weight loss products. This follows September’s $1 million settlement with the Coleadium, Inc. affiliate network, also known as “Ads4Dough,” and its owner will pay $1 million to settle a similar FTC complaint. Continue reading ‘Another Fake News Site Operator Settles with FTC, Will Surrender More than $2 Million in Assets’
The FDA may be ramping up enforcement against cosmetics marketers the agency says are making claims that move their products out of the cosmetics category and into the drug category. With notices sent October 5 to Avon Products and Bioque Technologies, the FDA now has issued seven warning letters since June, citing what it says are drug claims “associated with topical skin care, hair care, and eyelash/eyebrow preparations, noted on both product labeling and Web sites.” Continue reading ‘FDA Increasing Enforcement Against Cosmeceuticals?’
Steve Richards will help attendees at the Oct. 19-20 Direct Selling Symposium in Salt Lake City learn about the essential legal bases that new direct selling companies must cover at launch. He will cover what regulators are looking for and how to avoid their unwanted attention, and how to monitor distributors and run a compliance program that will help to shield the company from any negative fallout due to the actions of their distributors. Continue reading ‘Richards to Cover Legal Issues Facing Direct Selling Companies at Startup’
POM Wonderful lost the latest round in its lawsuit claiming the Federal Trade Commission’s enforcement of advertising rules and regulations exceeds its authority and violates POM Wonderful’s First and Fifth Amendment rights when a Federal district court judge in Washington DC dismissed POM’s suit.
However, U.S. District Judge Richard Roberts did not address those issues in the September 30 decision. Instead, he agreed with the FTC that “declaratory relief is not proper because a declaratory judgment would not fully resolve the controversy between the parties.” Continue reading ‘Judge Dismisses POM First Amendment Suit Against FTC’
The Federal Trade Commission has released an updated version of the “Green Guides,” also known as 16 CFR Part 260: Guides For the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims. The revision modifies and clarifies sections of the previous Guides, and adds new sections, based on input from both consumers and industry.
The new sections cover carbon offsets, “green” certifications and seals, and claims regarding being “free-of” specific substances, being non-toxic, being made with renewable energy and being made with renewable materials. Continue reading ‘Revised Green Guides Issued by FTC’
Jason Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Medifast Inc., has agreed to pay a $3.7 million civil penalty to settle a Federal Trade Commission complaint alleging that it made unsupported claims about its weight loss program in violation of a 1992 FTC settlement order. The 1992 order barred Jason Pharmaceuticals from making unsupported claims regarding user’s success in losing weight or maintaining weight control using its products.
Jason Pharmaceuticals sells Medifast-brand low-calorie meal substitutes. The FTC complaint alleges that since at least November 2009 the company had been using unsupported claims in radio and print advertising that Medifast programs and products would result in weight loss of two to five pounds each week. They complaint also alleged that the company represented the experience of the consumers featured in the ads as typical, and that users would lose more than 30 pounds using the program. Continue reading ‘Medifast Subsidiary to Pay $3.7 Million in FTC Settlement’
The FTC has charged two marketers of bed bug treatments using natural ingredients such as cinnamon and cedar oil with making unsubstantiated claims that their products could prevent or eliminate infestations. The FTC also alleged that one of the marketers claimed that its products worked on head lice, as well.
In one of the two cases, RMB Group, LLC and its principals have agreed to settle the charges relating to their “Rest Easy” bed bug products. In the case against Cedarcide Industries, Inc. and others, challenging their marketing of “Best Yet!” bed bug and head lice treatments, the defendants have not settled, and the FTC is beginning litigation against them.
According to the FTC complaint, Cedarcide Industries, Inc. claims that the cedar-oil based products they market under the name BEST Yet!, will treat and prevent bed bug and head lice infestations. The products are sold nationwide to consumers and also to hotels for bed bugs and to school districts for treating head lice.
The FTC complaint charges that the Cedarcide defendants make:
- unsupported claims that Best Yet! is effective at stopping and preventing bed bug infestations and that it is more effective than synthetic pesticides at doing so;
- false claims that scientific studies prove Best Yet!is effective at stopping and preventing bed bug infestations, and that it is more effective than synthetic pesticides at doing so;
- a false claim that the Environmental Protection Agency has warned consumers to avoid all synthetic pesticides for treating bed bug infestations;
- unsupported claims that Best Yet! is effective in stopping and preventing head lice infestations, killing head lice eggs, dissolving the glue that binds head lice eggs (known as nits) to hair, and killing head lice and their eggs in a single treatment; and
- false claims that scientific studies prove Best Yet! is effective in stopping and preventing head lice infestations.
- false claims that Best Yet!was invented for the U.S. Army at the request of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and that the USDA has acknowledged the product as the number one choice of bio-based pesticides.
According to the FTC, RMB Group, LLC marketed Rest Easy, a liquid containing cinnamon, lemongrass, peppermint, and clove oils for consumer use, primarily when staying in hotel rooms. The FTC complaint charges that the made unsupported claims that Rest Easy kills and repels bed bugs, and that a consumer can create a barrier against them by spraying the product around a bed.
Under the settlement, the defendants are barred from representing that Rest Easy or any other pesticide kills or repels bed bugs or creates a barrier against them, and making any claims about the performance of such a product, unless they are true and backed by competent and reliable scientific evidence.