False Weight Loss Claims Land Firm In FTC Complaint, Amazon Could Act Next
In FTC's "first case challenging a marketer’s use of fake paid reviews on an independent retail website," agency files complaint alleging Cure Encapsulations Inc. paid an "amazonverifiedreviews.com" to create and post Amazon reviews of its Quality Encapsulations Garcinia Cambogia Extract with HCA supplement. Emails from the firm to amazonverifiedreviews included, "Please make sure my product should stay a five star.”
You may also be interested in...
Marketing insiders are denouncing the growing trend of beauty companies weaponing influencers against competing brands. Mary Engle, associate director of FTC’s Division of Advertising Practices, discusses the practice and lines that shouldn’t be crossed, blurry as they may well be.
FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection official Richard Cleland takes on the hot-button issue by explaining that a supplement health or structure/function claim doesn't need support from research with the size and scope of studies looking at the safety and efficacy of a drug ingredient proposed for a certain indication. Supplement ad claims, though, still need competent and reliable scientific evidence as support.
The proposed order imposes a nearly $1.4m judgment in consumer redress or asset disgorgement, though all but $235,000 is "suspended based on the defendants’ ability to pay," according to FTC. If the firm and its owner "are later found to have misrepresented their financial condition," the entire amount will be due.