Last week a class action lawsuit was filed against Vitamin Shoppe, Inc. The plaintiffs asserted that Vitamin Shoppe misled consumers and made scientifically inaccurate claims with regard to its garcinia cambogia weight loss supplement in violation of California’s unfair competition law, false advertising law, and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act.
The lawsuit relies on the findings of a number of studies concerning the active ingredients in Vitamin Shoppe’s supplement, hydroxycitric acid and chromium. Specifically, the plaintiffs believe that these ingredients are not scientifically proven to effectively aid in long term weight loss or weight management. The plaintiffs request, among other remedies, that Vitamin Shoppe engage in a “corrective advertising campaign” and a court order requiring Vitamin Shoppe to recall and destroy all the allegedly misleading advertising materials and product labels associated with the supplement.
TAKEAWAY: Advertisers that make weight-loss claims should pay special attention to both the claims made and the substantiation provided, in light of the increased scrutiny by the class-action bar and regulators alike.