The consumer advocacy non-profit Truth in Advertising, Inc. (TINA.org) has set its sights on Goop, the lifestyle brand launched by Gwyneth Paltrow. In a complaint filed earlier this week with the Santa Clara and Santa Cruz County California district attorneys, both members of the California Food and Drug and medical Device Task Force, TINA alleges they found over 50 instances where claims were made that products Goop produces or promotes “can treat, cure, prevent, alleviate the symptoms of, or reduce the risk of developing a number of ailments.” TINA has requested that the California district attorneys investigate Goop’s marketing practices.
This is not the first time Goop has been forced to defend claims that it promotes. Last summer, the National Advertising Division took issue with claims related to using “dust” dietary supplements, such as Action Dust and Brain Dust, both sold by Moon Juice. The NAD closed the case after Goop agreed to permanently discontinue the dust claims.
TINA’s stated mission is to “empower consumers to protect themselves against false advertising and deceptive marketing.” In pursuing this objective, TINA has historically complained to the Federal Trade Commission about advertising practices. The Goop complaint may signal an intention to more actively press its matters with the California DAs, who have been very active in this space in recent years.
TINA pursued a similar strategy in bringing a complaint against MyPillow, which resulted in an agreement last year with a California DA Group that included injunctive relief and $995,000 in civil penalties. Under California law, any district attorney, county counsel, city attorney, or city prosecutor in California can bring an action alleging false or deceptive advertising upon their own complaint or upon the complaint of any board, officer, person, corporation or association or by any person who claims to be injured or damaged.