Feds Accuse 1-800 Contacts Of Badvertising

Feds Accuse 1-800 Contacts Of Badvertising

The Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit today against 1-800 Contacts, accusing the online lens retailer of making agreements with more than a dozen competitors to not compete with each other for online search ads, resulting in lens buyers paying higher prices. [More]

Jonas B

FTC Sends Warning Letters To Online Marketers Peddling Ineffective Zika-Prevention Products

It’s been a busy week for authorities going after sham products: a day after the New York Attorney General’s office announced that six companies had agreed to stop selling products that are ineffective at warding off Zika-carrying mosquitoes, the Federal Trade Commission is reminding a slew of businesses marketing Zika-prevention products that it’s illegal to make health claims that simply aren’t true. [More]

Dog Food Company Accused Of Falsely Advertising It Could Extend Dog’s Life By 30%

Dog Food Company Accused Of Falsely Advertising It Could Extend Dog’s Life By 30%

As the proud pop of a pup, of course I want him to live as long and happy a life as possible. At the same time, I’d hope that any product claiming to be able to extend my dog’s years has the evidence to back up this boast. [More]

Xavier J. Peg

New Rules Would Require Debt Collectors Have Proof You Actually Owe Money

One of the most common complaints about debt collectors is that they harass people over debts that are either no longer owed, or weren’t owed in the first place. Federal regulators are now proposing rules that — among other protections — would cut down on these annoying, bogus collections actions by requiring that debt collectors have some sort of evidence that the person they are calling actually owes money. [More]

Cancer Centers Tripled Ad Spending In Last Decade; Are They Pushing Hope Or Hype?

Cancer Centers Tripled Ad Spending In Last Decade; Are They Pushing Hope Or Hype?

If you watch cable TV — especially basic cable during the daytime — you’ve likely seen your share of heartwarming ads showing off cancer survivors who were saved from the brink by the handsome physicians and nurses at [Fill In The Blank] cancer treatment center. Over the last decade, direct-to-consumer marketing by cancer centers has soared, with much of that spending concentrated in the hands of about two dozen operators. However, some doctors are concerned that these ads aren’t selling patients on the reality, but on the experiences of a few rare cases. [More]

Herbalife To Pay $200M To Members Who Lost Money; Must Change Business Model

Herbalife To Pay $200M To Members Who Lost Money; Must Change Business Model

Five months after Herbalife was reported to be working on a settlement to resolve a federal probe into its often controversial business practices – or what some people claim is a pyramid scheme – the company has agreed to restructure its business model and pay $200 million to consumers who purchased large quantities of its products and lost money. [More]

Warner Bros. Paid Popular YouTubers To Post Positive Clips About Video Game

Warner Bros. Paid Popular YouTubers To Post Positive Clips About Video Game

Being a “social media influencer” must be a pretty sweet deal: People send you free stuff, and pay you money just in the hopes that you’ll say nice things about their products. Problem is, those companies can get into trouble if the influencers don’t properly reveal that they were paid for their commentary. [More]

Best-Selling Author & Convicted Liar Kevin Trudeau Makes Pitch To Supreme Court

Best-Selling Author & Convicted Liar Kevin Trudeau Makes Pitch To Supreme Court

Two years after being sentenced to a decade in federal prison for repeatedly defrauding American consumers, best-selling liar Kevin Trudeau is hoping that the U.S. Supreme Court will take a different view of his case than all of the previous courts. [More]

FTC Investigating Ashley Madison, New CEO Confirms

FTC Investigating Ashley Madison, New CEO Confirms

The hack that leaked 30 million customers’ data all over the internet may be a year in the past, but things are still rough for intentional-infidelity dating site Ashley Madison, which now finds itself the target of a federal probe. [More]

$6.3 Million In Refunds Going Out To Buyers Of Book Written By Convicted Liar Kevin Trudeau

$6.3 Million In Refunds Going Out To Buyers Of Book Written By Convicted Liar Kevin Trudeau

More than two years after “author,” infomercial pitchman, and professional liar Kevin Trudeau was sentenced to 10 years in prison for repeatedly making bogus weight-loss claims about his book The Weight Loss Cure “They” Don’t Want You to Know About, some of the hundreds of thousands of people conned into buying the book will be getting their money back. [More]

Jenn and Tony Bot

Feds Shut Down Florida-Based Debt-Relief Robocall Scammers

A federal court has issued a restraining order against a network of Florida-based robocallers who bilked more than $15.6 million from victims through the use of auto-dialed, prerecorded scam calls pitching bogus credit card rate reduction under the generic guise “Bank Card Services” or “Credit Assistance Program.” [More]

John Oliver Buys $15M In Medical Debt, Then Forgives It

John Oliver Buys $15M In Medical Debt, Then Forgives It

We can tell you about the growing problem of medical debt and how hospitals are suing thousands of patients for having the gall to be both sick and poor, or how debt collectors screw-up and use illegal tactics to get paid for debts they often can’t even prove that anyone owes. But that’s nothing compared to the sight of a goofy English guy forgiving $15 million in medical debt he bought for pennies on the dollar. [More]

“Mosquito Shield Band” Maker Must Pay $300K, Stop Claiming It Protects Against Bites

“Mosquito Shield Band” Maker Must Pay $300K, Stop Claiming It Protects Against Bites

With the Zika virus spreading across tropical regions of South and North America, consumers are likely looking for ways to ensure they aren’t bitten by disease-carrying mosquitos as summer approaches. But there’s one option they should stay away from: so-called mosquito shield bands.  [More]

Amberen Must Stop Claiming Menopause Supplement Is “Proven” To Cause Weight Loss

Amberen Must Stop Claiming Menopause Supplement Is “Proven” To Cause Weight Loss

Last year, the Federal Trade Commission sued Lunada, the makers of the supplement Amberen, alleging that the company did not have the science to back up claims that Amberen was “clinically proven” to cause substantial weight loss, and to alleviate just about every symptom associated with menopause: hot flashes, night sweats, sleep problems, fatigue, and irritability. Now Lunada has agreed to stop making these claims to settle the complaint. [More]

Lawsuit Accuses Cheez-It Of Falsely Advertising “Whole Grain” Crackers

Lawsuit Accuses Cheez-It Of Falsely Advertising “Whole Grain” Crackers

What does it mean for a food to be labeled “whole grain”? Even if there is no official standard for that term, do you expect that a whole grain version of a product would be healthier than the original? [More]

Mike Mozart and 
frankieleon

The FTC Has Called Off Its Administrative Trial Of Staples-Office Depot Merger

Last week, Staples and Office Depot called off their proposed merger, which would have brought together the biggest and second-biggest office supply retailer into a single paperclip-selling Voltron. Instead, a federal judge granted a temporary injunction, and the companies called off the merger. Now the Federal Trade Commission is officially closing the case. [More]

LearningRx To Pay $200K For Allegedly Unproven Claims That Brain Training Can Improve Income, Treat Autism & ADHD

LearningRx To Pay $200K For Allegedly Unproven Claims That Brain Training Can Improve Income, Treat Autism & ADHD

The company behind the LearningRX “brain training” program has agreed to pay a $200,000 settlement and to stop making claims that its system is clinically proven to treat serious health conditions, or that it can dramatically improves a user’s IQ or income. [More]

Court Upholds Judgment Against Napster Co-Founder In Jerk.Com Case

Court Upholds Judgment Against Napster Co-Founder In Jerk.Com Case

Two years ago, the Federal Trade Commission accused Napster co-founder, and creator of Jerk.com, John Fanning of pilfering data from Facebook accounts then charging people $30 each to manage their online reputations. A federal appeals court recently upheld most of the FTC’s ruling that Fanning deceived consumers about the source of the information contained on Jerk.com and the benefits of paying for membership. [More]