Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission finalized an order settling charges that mouthguard marketer Brain-Pad, Inc. and its President Joseph Manzo made deceptive claims that their mouthguards reduce the risk of concussions from lower-jaw impacts, reduce the risk of concussions generally, and have been clinically proven to work. Brain-Pad mouthguards retail for $10 to $30.
Part of the FTC’s ongoing efforts to protect consumers from over-hyped health claims, the settlement also prohibits Brain-Pad and Manzo from misrepresenting the health benefits of any mouthguard or other athletic equipment designed to protect the brain from injury. The FTC also sent warning letters to 18 other sports equipment manufacturers that may be making allegedly deceptive claims that their mouthguards, headbands, or other devices can reduce the risk of concussions.
Consumers should carefully evaluate health claims made by advertisers. For more information about concussions, see: Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.
The Commission vote approving the final order was 4-1, with Commissioner J. Thomas Rosch voting no.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC's online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.
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