The Federal Trade Commission recently settled with Chemical Free Solutions LLC (CFS) for its admitted violations of a 2013 order that barred the company from deceptively marketing its product, “BEST Yet!” In 2012, the FTC filed a complaint against CFS for making unsupported statements about its bed bug and head lice treatment. Pursuant to the 2013 consent order, CFS was prohibited from making deceptive performance claims and misrepresenting studies, among other things. CFS was also required to pay $185,206 as equitable monetary relief.
Under the terms of the 2018 modified final order, CFS admits to breaching the 2013 order and is prohibited from selling or marketing any products that claim to kill bed bugs. Furthermore, CFS and all persons with whom CFS works are prohibited from making deceptive performance claims about any pesticide product. CFS is also required to pay $224,356 in compensatory contempt relief for consumer refunds. In addition, the provisions of the 2013 consent order will remain in place and the timing of the compliance monitoring provisions will restart.
TIP: Once an advertiser is subject to a consent order, subsequent violations of such FTC consent orders can carry much heavier penalties and broad prohibition on business activities.