When a supplement sounds too good to be true, it mostly likely is. And deceiving consumers about a product’s wondrous powers isn’t looked upon lightly by federal regulators. The marketers of BrainStrong Adult dietary supplement found that out the hard way.
The Federal Trade Commission announced Monday that supplement marketers i-Health Inc. and Martek Biosciences Corporation settled charges of deceptively advertising that BrainStrong would improve adult memory and prevent cognitive decline.
The companies also allegedly falsely claimed there was clinical proof that the supplement improved adult memory.
Since 2011, the companies sold a 30-day supply of BrainStrong for $30 a major retailers such as CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid.
Television advertisements for the supplement featured a woman forgetting why she walked into a room. Then, through a voiceover her dog says she is there for her sunglasses that are in reality sitting on her head. The announcer asks “need a memory boost? Introducing BrianStrong…Clinically shown to improve adult memory.”
Under the settlement the companies are barred from claiming that any dietary supplement, food, or drug promoted to prevent cognitive decline or improve memory unless the claim is truthful and supported by human clinical testing.
Additionally, the company must pay a $16,000 civil penalty for each subsequent violation of the order.
Supplement Marketers Settle FTC Charges that “BrainStrong Adult” Memory Improvement Claims Are Deceptive [Federal Trade Commission]