Former VP Admits "Enzyte Male Enhancement" Ads Are Complete Fiction

If your BS detector doesn’t already go off when you watch commercials for Enzyte “Natural Male Enhancement,” then listen to what a former vice president of the company that manufactured the product had to say about it:

James Teegarden Jr., the former vice president of operations at Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals, explained Tuesday in U.S. District Court how he and others at the company made up much of the content that appeared in Enzyte ads.

He said employees of the Forest Park company created fictitious doctors to endorse the pills, fabricated a customer satisfaction survey and made up numbers to back up claims about Enzyte’s effectiveness.

“So all this is a fiction?” Judge S. Arthur Spiegel asked about some of the claims.
“That’s correct, your honor,” Teegarden said.

The company’s founder, Steve Warshak, is on trial, facing 20 years in prison and millions of dollars in fines if convicted. More goodness from the VP:

When customers ordered a product, the company’s goal was to keep charging their credit cards for as long as possible, Teegarden said.

He said first-time customers were automatically enrolled in a “continuity program” that sent Enzyte to their homes every month and charged their credit cards without authorization.

“Without continuity, the company wouldn’t exist,” Teegarden said. “It was the sole profit of the business.”

If customers complained, he said, employees were instructed to “make it as difficult as possible” for them to get their money back. In some cases, Teegarden said, Warshak required customers to produce a notarized statement from a doctor certifying Enzyte did not work.

“He said it was extremely unlikely someone would get anything notarized saying they had a small penis,” Teegarden said.

What a jackass. Here’s the worst part. In order to keep the company from losing its ability to accept credit card payments, they would make small unauthorized charges on their customer’s credit cards. This made it appear to Visa and Mastercard that a smaller percentage of their transactions were resulting in charge backs, and allowed them to keep accepting new customers. Evil.

Former exec: ‘Enzyte’ ads all lies [Cincinnati Enquirer via Fleshbot (NSFW)]

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Comments

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  1. cobaltthorium says:

    Crazy – why anyone would consider taking these without consulting a doctor first is beyond me.

  2. thrlsekr says:

    What happen to the truth in advertising laws? The government has totally abandoned the working citizen and instead watch out for these fraudulent companies!

  3. madanthony says:

    While fraud is clearly bad, it’s hard to feel too bad for people who believed that some “natural remedy” advertised in the back of Maxim was actually going to work.

    And I would have no problem getting a notarized statement that I have a small penis if it means getting money back. I mean, if I had a small penis. Which I don’t. Really.

  4. @cobaltthorium: Because BOB and BOB’s wife seem so happy?

  5. PropCulture says:

    This news will definitely get a rise out of some people.

  6. cobaltthorium says:

    @GitEmSteveDave: People are stupid :S

  7. huadpe says:

    @thrlsekr: Um, he’s on trial, and will probably go to jail. This sounds like they’re being enforced.

  8. Balisong says:

    This actually does surprise me, but only because the tone of the commercials made it sound like the viewer was expected to consult a doctor before trying the product. I know they put a phone number up to get free samples, but it still didn’t have the tone of a “call now and we’ll include extra ions for free!” thing. Maybe that was just me??…

  9. royal72 says:

    big dick pills? yeah they totally work!… if you’re dumb enough to buy this garbage in the first place, then in some ironic justification, i have no problem with said company ripping people off.

  10. bigmac12 says:

    American Public “stiffed” again……who wudda thunk it?
    Mac

  11. dripdrop says:

    @madanthony:

    The thing is, this isn’t one of those sketchy ads in the back of a magazine. It’s a well-advertised drug with high-quality (albeit annoying) commercials. I could see if it was being advertised like you purport, but it’s being marketed as a legitimate drug.

  12. youbastid says:

    @royal72: I suppose you’re the type that thinks old people that get swindled in to buying shit over the phone are at fault as well.

    These pills were not advertised in the back of Maxim – they were ALL over TV (and actually still are). They had high production values and aired during primetime, which gave the product a certain credibility. Nothing I ever would have bought, but when I saw it I used to think “Huh, looks like they actually made something that works.”

    Also, saying that it’s OK for a company to maliciously rip people off, in any circumstance, always makes you look like a douche. Remember that.

  13. headon says:

    He better hope that his cellmate isn’t the one person who tried the pill and got actual results. oooooo is he gonna be sore.

  14. VA_White says:

    The fact that they could make any money at all on this crap is proof that America is sprinkled with a lot of morons with tiny peens.

  15. NotATool says:

    Sheesh. Anyone who was naïve enough to buy into this scam got what they deserved.

  16. Nytmare says:

    VA_White’s ridicule of other people’s organ quality is likely just a sad attempt to make himself feel better about his own.

  17. foxbat2500 says:

    Anyone who fell for those commercials is a fool. I just can’t believe people are dumb enough to fall for this stuff. And its all over the tv…ad after ad. It sickens me.

  18. theblackdog says:

    Was I the only one who wanted to punch bob in the face?

    I used to make fun of those commercials, joking that his wife was still banging the mailman, even with Bob’s Enzyte usage.

  19. youbastid says:

    @NotATool: Don’t forget, there was no “buy-in.” For a while they were offering a totally free one month supply, a “nothing to lose” type offer. That’s how they got most of the people.

  20. Javert says:

    Court proceedings…

    “Your honor, my client had a tiny peni when he started taking the drug. I now enter into evidence exhibit A, my clients sworn affiadivit that he has shown no improvment after taking this product and does, in fact still have a tiny peni. And oh yeah, he now swears before the court that he is a complete idiot and believed there to be a magic pill to make him larger than life.”

    After reading the above, do you see why there may not be as many complaints as you would think against enzyte?

  21. orielbean says:

    It just really sucks that they were able to put that huge marketing campaign behind it all. It mirrored the other legit pharma ads and didn’t look like a late-night snake oil ad at all…Scumbags.

  22. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    The only reason they could get away with this for as long as they did was because other “real” drugs are being advertised in a similar manner.

  23. SOhp101 says:

    I think that in some states Enzyte is being further prosecuted so that their commercials will be completely off the air. If you watch the commercials very carefully–you will notice they never actually say it increases penis size or improves sexual libido; instead they say some vague statement about how its ‘male enhancement’ abilities… which can be anything ranging from woodworking to crocheting.

  24. loganmo says:

    Hmmmmmm, seems to me that Bob is no longer the only one with a “growing problem.” (snickers)

  25. Landru says:

    @madanthony: Then you don’t know anything about it.

  26. mikelotus says:

    well all i know is that since i started taking viagra, i now have erections that last over 4 hours and instead of talking to my doctor, i have been having to take care of chafing now.

  27. rkm12 says:

    If this was any other kind of medicine I doubt people would say the consumer got what they deserved. No one deserves to be ripped off to that extent, end of story.

  28. m4ximusprim3 says:

    Companies should learn not to make inflammatory claims about their product just to raise their bottom line. This is almost as bad as a pump and dump scam. What did they think was gonna happen- we’d erect a statue in their honor?

    Stories like this make me want to stand up straight and ejaculate obscenities.

  29. m4ximusprim3 says:

    Sean Connery: Gussy it up however you want, Trebek. What matters is does it work? Will it really mighty my penis, man?

    Alex Trebek: It’s not a product, Mr. Connery.

    Sean Connery: Because I’ve ordered devices like that before – wasted a pretty penny, I don’t mind telling you. And if The Penis Mightier works, I’ll order a dozen.

  30. Cowboys_fan says:

    This guy should be facing prison time too if he knew this sh*t all along.

  31. smitty1123 says:

    Really? Damn. Guess it’s back to stimulating the prostate for me…

  32. STrRedWolf says:

    Worthless. Let the company fold.

  33. mike says:

    You know, I have to hand it to the VP…at least he’s telling it how it is. I wish more companies were that honest. “Yeah, we’re selling you a crappy product because, well, we’re trying to make money.”

  34. stinkingbob says:

    Gosh, it’s amazing how critical people are of each other. If you have ever seen the infomercial, it is presented in such a way that it actually looks like a real, viable product. I could see people who are desperate enough to buy it. They aren’t dumb or naive, just anxious to look for a way to help with their “situation”. I am glad that those crooks got caught. But my question is: why did it take so long??????

  35. dgcaste says:

    HAHA! BURN IN PRISON MOTHERFUCKER!

  36. Dave on bass says:

    I like these commercials; some bits are really funny stuff. Some of the references make me laugh every time because it’s almost “superliminal” – Like the “disembodied advertising fingers” pointing at woodgrain panels, while Bob stands off to the side with his golf club of choice – a wood. It’s got all the makings of a spoof ad but is not.

    Not surprised it’s just another scam tho.

  37. junkmail says:

    I think the judge needs to teabag Teegarden.

  38. LiC says:

    So does this mean that I’ll never have to see another Enzyte commercial?

  39. sharki3232 says:

    Sorry guys, but unless you’re willing to go for surgery (which I’ve heard is very dicey) you’re stuck with what you got.

  40. King of the Wild Frontier says:

    @theblackdog: Hell to the no. Maybe we can start a class action lawsuit based on the emotional damage from being annoyed whenever Bob and his butterfaced wife appeared on screen…

  41. King of the Wild Frontier says:

    P.S. Anyone who has any doubts about the size of their ManTool needs to read this Dan Savage column [www.avclub.com] (warning: NSFW) with emails from his readers.

  42. beavis512 says:

    Don’t believe this guy!!! He’s lying on the stand and should be charged with purgery. I have taken enzyte for years and i now have a huge penis!!! I swear (sob, sob), I swear.

  43. rmric0.wedding.photographer.and.manny says:

    The problem here is that herbal products are largely unregulated. For the most part they can get away with making so-called “structural” claims (it boosts the immune system, it enhances maleness) and then laugh all the way to the bank.

    Unfortunately regulators dealing with these problems are spread incredibly thin and due process has to be maintained so it can take years to get quack products (like the Q*Ray) off of the market.

  44. SacraBos says:

    @VA_White: With the ton of enhancement product offers I get in my e-mail, plus these commercials – and the fact they are still in business – is proof that there are lots of insecure men out there.

    Remember guys, it’s not important if you have a big one, just don’t be a big one.

  45. clankboomsteam says:

    Okay, can anybody explain to me why it is that I just saw a commercial for Enzyte no more than thirty seconds ago? Seriously, if the company’s founder has officially admitted that he was unabashedly ripping people off, shouldn’t someone, say, STOP him from CONTINUING to do so? Anybody?

  46. CumaeanSibyl says:

    And if this trial isn’t enough, the Church of the Subgenius has a copyright-infringement lawsuit waiting in the wings.

  47. diamondmaster1 says:

    Did the former VP testify under immunity from prosecution? The stuff he’s admitting to is something he could himself be prosecuted for, along with everyone else involved with the creation of the fictitious ad copy, studies, etc. as knowing accomplices.

  48. warf0x0r says:

    I got nothing. No smart remark I can make can trump the truth of the movie Idiocracy; where all our scientists were too busy tying to cure male pattern baldness and enlarge their penises to save the human race from becoming well… stupid enough to buy Enzyte.

  49. clankboomsteam says:

    @warf0x0r:

    Ow, my balls!

  50. StevieD says:

    My wife complained that the pills made me …… smaller.

  51. m4ximusprim3 says:

    @diamondmaster1: I kinda assumed that was the case as well. Otherwise, he’s been taking too much of his own product or something :)

    “Ma ballz is so big, I can implicate myself to congress and not get cau.. damint!”

  52. quentin says:

    I wouldn’t take any “male enhancement” drug that isn’t FDA approved. Even, it it WERE approved, I wouldn’t take it anyway. Plus the smiling dude is totally creepy.

  53. GOKOR says:

    Finally, the government calls someone on their phony ads and “scientific data.”

  54. GOKOR says:

    @gokor: I actually was at a wrestling show hanging out with Ron Jeremy, because I was working backstage and he was making a guest appearance, and he was like “yeah, don’t take any of that crap (speaking of the stuff he was paid to hawk in late night infotainment ads), it makes you dependent on it for performance, you won’t be able to sustain an erection if you’re not taking it.”

    Surprisingly, he’s actually a very smart guy, and very cool with everyone.

  55. President Beeblebrox says:

    Their website has the familiar FDA snake-oil disclaimer: “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”

    Also, see [www.enzyte.com] “Enzyte is a carefully blended formula of natural ingredients” such as ginkgo biloba, ginseng, horny goat weed (!!!), saw palmetto, etc. In other words, the same sort of stuff I can get at my local health-food store which prominently displays a list of ailments and the supplements that treat them. I’m certainly not condoning fraud or anything of the kind, but with products like this, you get what you pay for.

  56. scarletvirtue says:

    This is so far off-topic, but @m4ximusprim3: I loved “Celebrity Jeopardy” on Saturday Night Live – one of the very few things that made it watchable!

  57. dirtleg says:

    So, why are these frigging commercials still on? If the damn things have been found fraudulent and the executives are facing possible jail time, why are we still subjected to this crap. Are they allowed to dupe the ignorant all the way up to the prison gates?

    While at times they do show a sense of humor, I find that them tedious and annoying.

  58. jwissick says:

    Well, that only took, what, 3 YEARS to get to this? And that SHIT is still being aired on TV too! The web site is still up. Why has the judge not ordered them to shut down at once???

    Christ. I would say the FDA moves about as fast as snail, but that would be doing an injustice to snails.

    And because of the snail’s pace, there are a few other companies running the same scam.

    The judge should just order the CEO and ALL employees of Enzyte to be taken out back and lynched.

  59. clevershark says:

    So they “made up much of the content that appeared in Enzyte ads”… which is odd because I always found their ads to be just about as content-free as any I’ve ever seen.

    Mind you it’s been about a year since I’ve watched any significant amount of TV, so maybe I just haven’t seen the latest ones.

  60. drjayphd says:

    @SOhp101: True, but some of the more adventurous slimeballs have gone as far as referring to “a certain part of the male anatomy”. Never knew there was such demand for bigger pinky toes.

  61. johnva says:

    The government should make it illegal for television stations to carry ads from obvious scams like these guys. Then prosecute them for doing it.

    Seriously, why are the broadcasters not taking some responsibility for not accepting this advertising? They reject ads all the time.

  62. StevieD says:

    @johnva:

    I agree, but that pesky 1st Amendment keeps getting in the way of making $.

  63. fergthecat says:

    I wonder if they’ll let him take some Enzyte to prison for his new boyfriend(s).

  64. StevieD says:

    @fergthecat:

    Nah, the bulls are just all happy and waiting for his first overnight visit.

  65. czetie says:

    @JWISSICK: The FDA may have a lot of flaws, but this isn’t one of them. Blame the politicians who passed the ridiculous “supplements” law that took this stuff (along with all the other snake oil treatments for backache, insomnia, toxins in the soles of your feet, etc.) OUT of the FDA’s jurisdiction. Top of your list should be Senator Orrin Hatch, in whose state much of this stuff is manufactured.

  66. Instigator says:

    So that’s why Enzyte is still running its Christmas-themed commercial with Smilin’ Bob as the “chubby” Santa. How anyone can believe this or any other “male enhancement” pill works is beyond me, but Enzyte’s commercials are at least entertaining.