The FTC is Cracking Down on Fake Product Claims





Depressed mature man holding paper and looking at it while sitting on the couch at home

Have you ever seen a product claim or ad that didn’t live up to reality? Now the FTC has warned almost 700 marketing companies that they could face civil penalties if they can’t back up their claims.

“The requirement for advertisers to have adequate support for their advertising claims at the time they’re made is a bedrock principle of FTC law,” said Sam Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The prospect of steep civil penalties will help ensure that advertisers don’t play fast and loose with the truth.”

The FTC is now warning companies that make health or safety benefit claims that they must be based on scientific evidence. If a product claims to cure, mitigate, or treat a serious disease such as cancer, it must have accepted standards of scientific testing backing it up.

It totals approximately 670 companies received warnings related to the marketing of OTC drugs, homeopathic products, dietary supplements, or functional foods. These companies face up to $50,120 penalties per violation.

Over the last few years, the FTC has been working hard to make sure the American consumer can trust the claims they see online, in print, and on TV. This is just one more example of what the FTC is doing to ensure ads are truthful.

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