Four of the biggest names in the “lose weight, fast” game have been charged with fraud by the Federal Trade Commission. On Tuesday, January 8, the FTC determined that Sensa Products, L’Occitane, HCG Diet Direct, and LeanSpa had deceptively marketed weight-loss products and made “unfounded promises” that people could lose weight by simply using their products.
The four companies will collectively pay $34 million to customers as a refund. No company has yet admitted or denied the charges.
We have another case of false advertising on our hands, but this time it’s in the juice.
A recent article from CBS reported that POM Wonderful – maker of the popular 100% pomegranate juice – has been found guilty of deceptively advertising its pomegranate products when they claimed they were capable of treating, preventing, or reducing the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer and even erectile dysfunction.
The Federal Trade Commission’s main complaint with the company was that their claims were not well-founded or scientifically proven, yet they were presented to the public as such. The FTC feared consumers would be misled by their advertisements, which appeared in national publications both in print and online.
POM Wonderful’s parent company, POM, also found itself in a similar situation in 2010 after the FTC caught wind that the company was making lofty claims about their products saying they were “The Antioxidant Superpower,” and that they helped prevent heart disease. (more…)
The yogurt-maker Dannon agreed to drop various health claims made about its products, in addition to paying out $21 million in state and federal settlements. The Federal Trade Commission says that there is not enough scientific proof for Dannon’s claims that Activia yogurt can correct digestive irregularity or that DanActive can boost immunity.
“Consumers want, and are entitled to accurate information when it comes to their health,” FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said in a statement. “Companies like Dannon shouldn’t exaggerate the strength of scientific support for their products.”
UPDATE [9/28/10]: In response to the FTC’s charges, POM as issued a statement that they feel the allegations are “unwarranted” and that the health benefits of pomegranate juice are “backed by $25 million in medical research.” The juice producer goes even further by stating that the FTC “is wasting taxpayer resources to persecute the pomegranate.”
Yet another popular drink manufacturer must face government regulators over exaggerated health claims. While the Food and Drug Administration has called out several food and beverage producers, this time the Federal Trade Commission is stepping onto the field. The FTC is suing POM Wonderful LLC of Los Angeles over their claims about the wonders of pomegranate juice.
The commission is targeting POM Wonderful 100% Juice and POMx dietary supplements. They say that ads for these items make “false and unsubstantiated claims that their products will prevent or treat heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction.”
Yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said that Nestlé ads for Boost Kid Essentials are misleading and that the company had agreed to drop them. Officials are cracking down on supermarket nutrition gimmicks, particularly ones created specifically for children. “Parents want to do right by their kids,” said David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The FTC is helping them by monitoring ads and stopping those that are deceptive.” (more…)