A California federal court has granted the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) request for a temporary restraining order prohibiting seven individuals and 15 companies from advertising or selling Auravie, Dellure, LéOR Skincare and Miracle Face Kit products after FTC alleged that the defendants offer false “risk-free trials.” FTC v. Bunzai Media Grp., Inc., No. 15-4527 (C.D. Cal., temporary restraining order entered June 16, 2015).
The complaint asserts that the defendants (i) hide pricing terms in fine print or fail to disclose them altogether, (ii) falsely represent that customers can test the products without incurring costs, (iii) fail to provide a simple method of canceling the recurring charges, and (iv) misrepresent the companies as accredited by the Better Business Bureau with an “A-” rating when they have actually received an “F” rating. Several of the defendant companies, including BunZai Media Group, Pinnacle Logistics, DSA Holdings, Lifestyle Media Brands, and Agoa Holdings are registered in California with the same primary and secondary addresses and list many of the same directors. “The sellers of AuraVie tricked people into paying a lot of extra money for skin care products,” Bureau of Consumer Protection Director Jessica Rich said in a June 25, 2015, press release. “Companies need to give clear, honest information about charges. If a company advertises a ‘risk free trial,’ then that’s what it must provide.”