News from the World of Snake Oil
The Orange County Register
6th July, 2015
The Federal Trade Commission has issued a judgment of more than $150 million against distributors of dietary supplement Procera AVH for falsely advertising the product’s ability to restore memory loss and improve brain function, according to documents filed in Santa Ana’s federal courthouse.
The settlement, filed last Wednesday, acknowledges distributors violated sections of FTC rules that prohibit “unfair or deceptive acts or practices” in commerce.
Brain Research Labs (BRL) and its collaborators, 20/20 Brain Power Partners, 20/20 Brain Power Founders, and MedHealth Direct, all of which are based in Laguna Beach, were fined $91 million. Key View Labs, the Florida-based company that bought BRL in 2012, was fined $61 million.
A majority of each judgment will be suspended in lieu of $2.8 million escrow fund, according to the court documents. The commission will use some of money to repay consumers who bought the supplement, the documents stated.
Advertisements for Procera AVH, which included infomercials and direct mail ads, falsely claimed the pills could reverse 10 to 15 years of age-related mental decline and memory loss as well as improve concentration, focus, mental clarity and mood.
“If you have ever dreamed of travelling back in time, this drug-free compound may be the next best thing,” read a print ad for the supplement, one of seven advertisements submitted as evidence in court. “Just like a good pair of glasses can make blurry vision sharp and crystal clear, Procera AVH can do the same thing for your brain!”
These and other claims are false and unfounded, the FTC stated in its complaint.
Enjoy a little thematic music:
"Snake Oil" by Steve Earle