Company Advertisements Get Caught Making False Claims And Are Called to Task And So Much of This Activity is in Healthcare
Posted May 01 2011 4:54pm
Back in October of 2010 I wrote about everyone marketing their “ass” off and in addition to the foods and other side of healthcare we have it with software and other claims too on the web. It’s like a virus out there to grab the consumer buck and with all the ground breaking technologies we do have today in healthcare, it’s sometimes hard for all of us to distinguish which is which!
Having a mother that is a senior really helps out here with me gathering some of this information together as being a senior she’s a big target out there as she’s aging and what the economists and others sometimes refer to heartlessly as “expensive” and don’t forget we are all going to get there some day so not a bad idea to cut some of this crap out with relaying news and product information today.
Here’s an example of what happened last year with some behavior patterns that got out of whack with the focus on pay for performance and wrangling that consumer, my Mom into what they were pushing that day. Shoot even her health care plan and the drug store were giving her conflicting standards on when she should check her glucose levels and she’s been doing this for 15 years and nowhere along the line did the “experts” on both sides mention the involvement of her doctor, so what’s wrong with this picture I ask? Is this where “marketing your ass off” takes over for common sense and the current structure of healthcare? I think we have some issues here and the end result is a huge lack of ethics and common sense at times. In some instances it is the pursuit of patient data that drives all of this so they can sell it and make money too.
You can see where even myself, as hard as I try to be realistic can be taken in a bit with Oreck vacuum cleaner’s claims. Sure the UV light helps but to what extent were the claims made that consumers could rely upon? They paid some money out as you can read below due to the FTC researching their claims. Now this does not mean it’s a bad product at all, as they make one heck of a vacuum cleaner with a great reputation but could the UV light stand up to everything they claimed was the question. There’s another company that boasts UC treatment for toe nail fungus too and I don’t know where their claims stand today either. Obviously the product do function but again we are back the “marketing your ass off” paradigm.
“Oreck agreed to pay $750,000 to settle allegations about its boasts that the vacuums could "capture and destroy" the flu bug and other germs. The Federal Trade Commission accused the company of being unable to back its boasts.”
In some areas this is where 2 federal agencies need to work together as in the Cheerios advertising claim, so the FDA basically came out and said ok you are going to advertise like a drug with your claims, so now you are a drug and submit your data <grin>. On some of thee areas lines over cross so collaboration is best.
Drug companies get caught up in this too, like Bayer did with their claims about prostate cancer. I had a conversation with the Prostate Cancer Foundation and asked their opinion to which they said they were all over it and would be following up for public awareness too as they are one of the first places consumers go to ask since they are the experts with research, development and so forth with this type of cancer. You can read below the outcome of that one with the class action lawsuit filed for false advertising with the Men’s One A Day.
In here too we have Pom Wonderful who has spoken about the benefits of pomegranate juice and they too were called on the carpet, so they just kind of exploited their efforts in a recent movie, sponsored by Pom Wonderful. I do have to say though that prostate cancer gets more than their fair share of a lot of this when folks crunch some numbers without the scientific backing. I like Pom, tastes good, and like it in a martini, so that’s why I buy it and of course I am not one who buys the product due to it’s prostate cancer claims being a female. <grin>.
It is kind of funny in a way that they are the big sponsor in the “Greatest Movie Ever Sold” and you can read my comments on how this rolls over to healthcare and I ask do we have the greatest healthcare system ever sold too?
If you don’t think you are being marketed beyond all belief today, just take one look at this house painted with social networking logos! Social networks are great, I use them but common sense needs to enter here somehow too as some of them a driving more revenue for their pockets with some steroid and senseless advertising today too.
Read the list below and take a look and just be aware as to what is documented by studies and research and don’t be afraid to ask questions or dig a little deeper and search some of this out on the web. Marketing and superficial advertising today can lead us to believe that donkeys come with two heads as shown above if we are not careful. BD
The Kellogg Co. agreed to dial back its advertising after being accused of going too far with claims that Rice Krispies could help your immune system. That followed a previous confrontation over claims the company's Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal was "clinically shown to improve kids' attentiveness by nearly 20%."
The Dannon Co. agreed to stop claiming that its Activia yogurt and DanActive drink, which contain probiotics, could relieve irregularity and help prevent catching colds or the flu.
NatureSmart LLC and Rexall Sundown Inc. -- makers of Disney and Marvel Heroes multivitamins -- agreed to pay $2.1 million after claiming their products had certain acids that promoted healthy brain and eye development in children. The FTC said the claims were false and could not be backed up.
Legacy Learning Systems Inc., which markets a popular series of guitar-lesson DVDs called the Learn and Master Guitar program, agreed to pay $250,000 after being accused of orchestrating a series of phony reviews and testimonials from supposedly regular folk or independent reviewers.
Wellness Support Network Inc. was accused of deceiving consumers "with baseless claims that its supplements would treat and prevent diabetes." The FTC said the Diabetic Pack and the Insulin Resistance Pack were essentially the same collection of vitamins and were sold with the claims they reduce insulin resistance and can prevent diabetes. They also said they were the product of "Nobel Prize-winning technology."
American Tax Relief , which heavily advertised on the Web, was accused of taking more than $60 million from consumers with tax debts after claiming they could shrink the amount they owed. Ironically, the company had its license suspended in California for failure to pay taxes.
The makers of POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice were accused of making boasts they couldn't back up that the drink and related supplements could prevent or help those with heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction.
Global U.S. Resources, which ran a massive marketing operation aimed at convincing out-of-work people that they could make thousands of dollars a month by stuffing envelopes, was accused of duping consumers to get up-front payments from them.
At least 18 different websites were issued formal warnings to stop confusing consumers about getting free credit reports. They were required to disclose in their advertising that every consumer is entitled to a free credit report each year from each of the three major credit-reporting agencies through the site AnnualCreditReport.com .