The FTC recently ordered Focus Education LLC (the maker of Jungle Rangers) to stop making “baseless” claims that its product improved children’s cognitive abilities. Focus Education LLC promoted its Jungle Rangers game via infomercials, radio spots, social media, and the company’s websites that represented (explicitly and implicitly) that the game “permanently improves children’s focus, memory, attention, behavior, and school performance, including children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.” The advertisements further represented that the game was “scientifically proven to improve children’s cognitive abilities, behavior, and academic performance.” 

The FTC filed a complaint against the company alleging violations of Section 5(a) and 12 of the Federal Trade Commission Act based on the company’s failure to substantiate any of these claims, which the FTC alleged constituted unfair and deceptive practices and false advertising. Among other things, the FTC’s proposed consent order forbids the company and its owners from making unsubstantiated claims about its products or services. The Commission voted 5-0 to accept the order and will decide whether to make the agreement final after the public comment period ends on February 20, 2015.   

Tip: Claims that a product will improve cognitive abilities must be supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence, which means “human clinical testing of such product that is sufficient in quality and quantity, based on standards generally accepted by experts in the relevant field, when considered in light of the entire body of relevant and reliable scientific evidence, to substantiate that the representation is true.”