Posts Tagged ‘deceptive advertising’

L’Occitane to Pay $450,000 for Consumer Refunds in FTC Settlement

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

The FTC has approved the final consent order settling charges that L’Occitane, Inc. deceptively claimed that two of skin creams have body slimming capabilities and are clinically proven. The settlement requires L’Occitane to pay $450,000 for consumer redress, as well as prohibiting it from making future false and deceptive weight-loss claims.

The two products are Almond Shaping Delight, which sold for $48 for 7 ounces, and of Almond Beautiful Shape, which cost $44 for 6.7 ounces.  L’Occitane claimed that the skin creams would slim users’ bodies, even though they had no scientific evidence to support the claim. (more…)

Unfounded Claims for Treating and Preventing Diabetes Cost Supplement Maker $2.2 Million

Monday, March 10th, 2014

The FTC has won a $2.2 million judgment against Wellness Support Network, Inc. as the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California found that WSN’s marketing of dietary supplements to treat and prevent diabetes violated Section 5 of the FTC Act. The FTC said that any money recovered will be used to reimburse consumers.

The court also prohibited WSN and its two principals from claiming that their supplements would treat and prevent diabetes without rigorous proof to support the claims, as well as from making other deceptive claims. (more…)

Chicago Jury Finds Kevin Trudeau Guilty of Criminal Contempt

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Kevin Trudeau, who in 2010 was ordered by a federal judge to pay more than $37 million for violating a 2004 stipulated order by misrepresenting in infomercials the content of his book, “The Weight Loss Cure They Don’t Want You to Know About,” was found guilty of criminal contempt for violating that order. The jury took less than an hour to reach its verdict, which was read in a Chicago courtroom Nov. 12.

Prosecutors argued Trudeau knowingly violated the order when he used infomercials to tout the book’s plan that would “cure” obesity without requiring a special diet or needing to exercise, even though the book called for limiting calories to 500 a day and required walking an hour a day.

The defense argued that there was no violation, since the statements made in the infomercials were presented as opinions, and thus were protected speech under the First Amendment. In addition, because nothing was said in the infomercials that did not appear in the book, the defense maintained that a Trudeau was not misrepresenting the content of the book. (more…)

FTC Charges HCG Marketer with Deceptive Advertising

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

The FTC has filed a complaint against the marketers of the HCG Platinum dietary supplements, charging them with deceptive advertising for claiming that using the product will result in substantial weight loss.

The complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, names two corporate defendants, HCG Platinum, LLC and Right Way Nutrition, LLC, company president Kevin Wright, and seven relief defendants the FTC says received money from sales of the HGC products. (more…)

FTC Concludes Crackdown on Fake News Sites with $1.6 Million Beony Settlements

Friday, February 8th, 2013

The Federal Trade Commission has announced two proposed settlements that will conclude their sweep against online marketers that allegedly used fake news sites to promote weight-loss products. 

The two settlements, one with Beony International and owner Mario Milanovic and one with Beony International employee Cody Adams, each impose a $13 million judgment. However, that will be suspended when the defendants pay more $1.6 million and sell a 2008 Porsche.  However, if the financial information the defendants provided is later determined to have been false, the full amount of the judgments will be imposed.  (more…)

FTC Upholds Administrative Judge’s POM Wonderful Decision

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

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. (more…)

Another Fake News Site Operator Settles with FTC, Will Surrender More than $2 Million in Assets

Monday, November 5th, 2012

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. (more…)

Judge Dismisses POM First Amendment Suit Against FTC

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

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.”  (more…)

Medifast Subsidiary to Pay $3.7 Million in FTC Settlement

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

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. (more…)

FTC Alleges Deceptive Advertising by Natural Bed Bug and Lice Treatment Marketers

Monday, September 24th, 2012

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.