It was nine months ago that the Federal Trade Commission announced its crackdown on companies that created sites aimed to look like news reports that were really just advertisements for supplements and other weight loss products made from acai berries. Now, as part of a settlement agreement, six online marketers will permanently stop the deceptive practice.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is taking a harsh legal stand against 10 companies and individuals marketing acai berry weight-loss products online by using fake news websites which imply endorsement from major media outlets — including our sibling publication Consumer Reports.
The FTC wants to see some proof that the pomegranate ingredients in POM Wonderful’s products can actually treat heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction, which is what the company says in marketing and packaging materials.
Last summer, Central Coast Nutraceuticals settled a deceptive practices charge from Arizona’s Attorney General by promising to pay $1.4 million in fines. Now the company, which peddles acai berry and colon cleansing products, has been forced to temporarily stop selling or marketing its wonder products completely under an injunction obtained yesterday by the FTC.
Amazing pills that will make me look younger and lose weight? And it comes as a free trial, you say? Of course I’ll try it! Here’s my credit card number. What could possibly go wrong?
One of the acai berry’s most miraculous powers is its ability to filch hundreds of dollars from consumers who are seeking new ways to lose weight and live forever. Now one company known for marketing an acai elixir has settled a lawsuit from the Arizona Attorney General over charges of deceptive practices.
I started out looking at the advertising and affiliate practices of one company, CreditReport America, and learned that the company that owns this site apparently produces a solid majority of the ads on the Web that annoy me.
Christina decided to give the famed acai berry a try. What the heck, she must have thought, it won’t cost me that much ($10) and the site’s refund policy clearly indicates when I can return the product, cancel the “subscription,” and move on. She knew the cancel-by date and was prepared to follow the rules. AcaiBerryUltimate.com had other plans, which are best summed up by this email they sent to her: “You can get your refund in hell. haahah.”
Of all the ridiculous Acai schemes we’ve seen involving overpriced miracle elixirs, Snapple wins hands down—their Acai Blackberry drink is high fructose corn syrup, pear juice, and “natural flavors,” which Consumerist reader LS points out could be “a spoonful of blackberry jam from Aunt Sally’s root cellar and a puff of acai-laced breath from the health food girl in accounting.” Or more likely, just some flavoring extracts from a company similar to this one.
On Monday, Meg alerted you to a BBB warning about Acai sellers doing scammy things to consumers. Now Donna has tipped us off to a slew of identical websites that have sprouted up online, featuring Everyday Women Like You And Me with names like Jenny, Sarah, Nancy, and Amy, and who all look like the same blonde model. They’ve all lost pounds, too! How? With “My 2 Step Formula,” that’s how!
The BBB is warning consumers about scams attached to the popular, yummy acai berry. Online ads claiming endorsements by Oprah and Rachel Ray are pitching acai-berry-themed weight loss products — and are generating thousands of complaints from angry consumers who say they’ve been scammed.
I’ve been approached by a friend to join up with MonaVie acai juice—it’s a “superfood” juice that’s sold through “network marketing.” I actually do like the product, and this is a friend I trust, but my alarm bells are still going off. I don’t want to get sucked into a scam, obviously. There’s nothing about this company on your site, so I thought I’d drop you a line and see if you had any advice.