This past week, the following consumer protection actions made headlines:
FTC Reminds Consumers to Watch for Misleading Sales; Warns Retailers of the Same
In a recent consumer information piece, the FTC sought to warn consumers of misleading “sales.” Of concern to consumers and the FTC are advertisements or in-store tags that suggest a consumer will save on a product, when in reality the consumer will pay full price and the promised discount is applied on a future purchase.
The FTC also published a warning to retailers that offers must be sufficiently transparent for consumers to be able to determine the final price of a product or service.
NARB Seeks Changes to ‘Lipo-Flavonoid Plus’ Advertisements
The National Advertising Review Board (“NARB”) has recommended that Clarion Brands, LLC halt its testimonial claims regarding its “Lipo-Flavonoid Plus” dietary supplement, which suggest the supplement can reduce or eliminate tinnitus and the symptoms of Ménière’s Disease, a disorder of the inner ear. NARB’s recommendation follows the National Advertising Division’s (“NAD’s”) similar recommendation.
NARB did find sufficient support for Clarion Brands to suggest that Lipo-Flavonoid Plus may provide some relief for customers who suffer from tinnitus, but Clarion’s claims went much further, suggesting that the supplement provides significant or complete relief for ringing of the ears.
While disputing many of the NARB’s findings, Clarion Brands has agreed to accept the decision and take the recommendations into account in future advertisements.
Reckitt Benckiser to Discontinue Advertising Claim: “Rated Best Buy 3 Years in a Row”
Reckitt Benckiser, LLC has agreed to follow a NAD recommendation to discontinue its claim that “Finish Powerball All in 1” dish detergent is “Rated Best Buy 3 years in a row.” At issue was the timing of Consumer Reports’ rating: Finish Powerball dish detergent was rated ‘Best Buy’ from 2011-2013, but had not received a similar rating since that time.
Reckitt Benckiser has agreed it will not produce any new advertising materials with the ‘Best Buy’ claim, and should the product be named as a ‘Best Buy’ in the future, the company will advertise only within Consumer Reports’ guidelines.