Blog Posts Tagged with Health Claims

Pages

Itchy and Scratchy

Two things that bug us:  1) head lice, bed bugs, and other creepy crawlies that score off the charts on the eeww-ometer; and 2) companies that make deceptive claims that their products can treat and prevent infestations.  Settlements the FTC just announced with the marketers of the BEST Yet! line of cedar oil-based products reminds companies of the importance of backing up claims with sound science.

Fraud harms 25.6 million people: Anyone you know?

The FTC is always working to know more about the types of fraud being committed and who spends money on them.  Periodically, we survey consumers and ask them to share details about their recent marketplace experiences and a bit about themselves.  Our most recent survey found that nearly 11% of U.S. adults — an estimated 25.6 million people — paid for fraudulent products and services in 2011.

Sporting goods companies: Guard against deception

Some sports fans spend Saturdays on the field.  For the rest of us, raising a Big Foam Finger is exertion enough.  But we’ve all read stories about the dangers that head injuries pose to participants in contact sports.  That’s why the FTC is continuing to raise concerns about possibly unsubstantiated claims for products advertised to reduce the risk of sports concussions.

A spirited closing letter

Bulk up while partying down.  At least, that’s the message FTC staff was concerned consumers might take from ads for Devotion Vodka.  According to the staff, the beverage was advertised to contain a significant amount of protein and to help build muscle mass — with the additional benefit of not causing hangovers.

Care a-parent

It can take a lot of shoe leather to investigate housing options for older relatives.  So entrepreneurs have stepped in to help make those transitions easier.  But according to the FTC, two unrelated businesses that offered free online placement services for people looking for long-term care facilities didn’t live up to their claims that they researched each location thoroughly.  The settlements offer compliance insights for other companies, too.

Good night. Sleep tight. Be sure to get your ad claims right.

No one is going to amend the nursery rhyme, but if you market products aimed at fighting bed bugs or head lice and are itching to keep your promotions in line with the law, two FTC lawsuits merit your attention.  Even if bugs aren’t your bag, the cases are a reminder of the need to back up your claims with solid science.

Phenomenal abdominals? Not so fast, Ab Circle Pro.

If you haven’t heard of the Ab Circle Pro, you need to spend more time in your recliner.  Between the infomercial blitz, the online presence, and a retail campaign that promoted the product with a prominent “As Seen on TV” logo, ads were everywhere.  The marketers claimed that using the device for just three minutes a day would lead to a 10-pound weight loss in two weeks and inches off the stomach, hips, and thighs — benefits equal to or better than longer workouts at the gym.

Sports concussion prevention claims: What marketers need to know

Whether you’re a full-pads athlete or a quarterback of the Monday morning variety, you’ve read reports about sports-related concussions.  But before marketing a product advertised to reduce the risk of those injuries, businesses should take a careful look at the FTC’s settlement with Pennsylvania-based Brain-Pad, Inc.

Pets, Vets, and Retail Outlets

Last year, U.S. pet owners spent over $50 billion on their pets.  That’s a lot of puppy chow, chew toys, and rhinestone collars.  But it also reflects significant expenditures for pet health products and services, including veterinary office visits and medicines.  In fact, in 2011 American consumers spent nearly $7 billion on pet medications alone. 

Court finds litany of violations in alcoholism "cure" case

People who signed up with the Jacksonville-based Alcoholism Cure Corporation were promised a “scientifically proven” program that “cures alcoholism while allowing alcoholics to drink socially.”  What they got was a shopping list, instructions to take handfuls of unproven supplements, and a particularly troubling surprise when they tried to cancel their membership.

Following through

Ask any golfer.  How you address the ball matters, but don’t underestimate the importance of the follow-through.  In law enforcement, too, follow-through can be key.  A recent development in the FTC’s action involving Neil Wardle illustrates that point.

Two little words

Unless you’re playing Scrabble and use QI or ZA on a triple letter square, two-letter words usually don’t count for much.  A consumer perception study released by the FTC suggests that two common two-letter words often used in ads may not have the effect of qualifying product claims that some marketers and copywriters think they have.  Any guess what those words are?

Up to.

Judge issues Initial Decision in POM Wonderful case

An FTC Administrative Law Judge ruled that POM Wonderful LLC and related parties made misleading claims that POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice and other products would treat, prevent, or reduce the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction.  Although the remedy in the case wasn’t everything the FTC staff had asked for, the ALJ concluded that POM had engaged in false and deceptive advertising.

What your ads say and what the science supports: If the shoe doesn't fit...

According to the FTC, Skechers made false and deceptive claims about the benefits of Shape-ups and other Skechers brands.  If you’re in the fitness or health business, the $40 million settlement should grab your attention.  But the underlying principles apply to all advertisers.  If you're looking to get a leg up on substantiation, here are some footnotes to take from the case.

Close-up on disclosures

The FTC just released the preliminary agenda for the May 30, 2012, workshop to consider the need for new guidance for online advertisers about making disclosures. If that’s a topic of interest to your business (and it’s tough to imagine a company not involved in those discussions), you’ll want to stay up on the latest. What’s on the schedule for May 30th? After a kick-off presentation on usability research, the workshop will feature four panels: 9:30 – Panel 1: Universal and Cross-Platform Advertising Disclosures

Pages