A shock and awe campaign conducted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) put affiliate marketers on notice. It appears the FTC is taking a bottom-up approach by litigating against acai berry affiliate marketers before going after product manufacturers.
FTC Slams 10 Acai Affiliate Marketers With A Claim
The FTC filed complaints, in a U.S. district court, against ten affiliate marketers, for allegedly using deceptive marketing practices to advertise the effects of acai berry products for rapid weight loss. The FTC sought to freeze the assets of the accused.
“False and Unsubstantiated Claims” At The Root Of Acai Weight Loss Claims
In each of the complaints, the FTC alleges that the defendants made false and unsubstantiated claims. The commission also said they misrepresented the effects of acai berry weight loss products via fake news sites and trumped up success claims to induce consumers.
Deceptive article-ads, blaring headlines like, “Acai Berry EXPOSED – Health Reporter Discovers the Shocking Truth,” are the problem — so says the FTC. Once the consumer clicks on the ad, the web browser is redirected to a fake news site proclaiming the wonders of acai berry weight loss and colon cleansing products. To add an air of credibility, without authorization, site owners use the names and logos of several well-known news organizations.
The problem is that neither the FTC nor Food and Drug Administration have substantiated a definitive link between acai berries, colon cleanses, and weight loss.
What do the FTC’s recent actions mean for Acai Affiliate Marketers?
If you operate an affiliate marketing company, make sure you fully understand the features and benefits of the product you’re selling, because making false and unsubstantiated claims will get you in trouble with the FTC. The Commission has made it clear that it will file “a complaint when it has ‘reason to believe’ that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest.”
Translation: If the FTC catches an affiliate marketing company gorging itself on the spoils deceptive marketing practices, it’ll seek to disgorge said company of its ill-gotten gains.