You know how some less-than-reputable health supplement companies shill their products by attaching major news organizations to their pitch in order to lend credibility to their product? Right, I don’t know how they get away with it either.
Regulators aren’t too happy about some of these tactics, and are now starting to crack down on companies that sell acai berry weight loss products with fake endorsements from news organizations, including CNN, Fox News and USA Today.
The Federal Trade Commission has requested that federal courts freeze the assets of 10 operations using allegedly deceptive tactics such as fake news websites to market products.
“Almost everything about these sites is fake,” said David Vladeck, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The weight loss results, the so-called investigations, the reporters, the consumer testimonials, and the attempt to portray an objective, journalistic endeavor.”
The websites use the logos of real news organizations, and even worse, consumer reports. While that’s bad enough, maybe the most brazen act is that they use images of the beautiful French news anchor, Melissa Theuriau. She’s probably more famous in the U.S. for her unauthorized appearances on these websites than her actual career.
The FTC acted after hundreds of complaints from consumers saying that they had been ripped off. The government agency said defendants have probably made over $10 million in fraudulent commissions through the websites.
(via: Yahoo! UK)
April 25th, 2011