A company in the mosquito repellent biz is out a few hundred thousand dollars.
Ultimately, the Federal Trade Commission feels the company lacked sufficient scientific proof to support structure-function promotional claims.
Why should you care about this case? It’s a reminder to stay on the right side of the “substantiation line” when promoting products.
The Incident: Company Makes Scientific Claim In Marketing Pitch
Some months ago, the president of a mosquito repellent company appeared on a home shopping channel. During the broadcast, he allegedly implied his product guarded against Zika virus.
Well, FTC staffers quickly caught wind of the claims, hopped on their bureaucratic broomsticks, and flew into regulatory action. Ultimately, the nation’s consumer watchdog felt the company snubbed compliance by suggesting the wristbands prevented Zika-infested mosquito attacks.
Excerpts from the FTC’s press release:
FTC Defamation Lawsuit On The Way?
Though confident in the science, executives at the company settled quickly, arguing it was “a good business decision to cut [their] loses.” In a statement, they suggested the FTC made “false and misleading” statements when announcing the settlement, which raises the question: is the wristband company angling for a defamation lawsuit against the FTC? Now that would be interesting; not so much in practicality (privilege would probably KO any possibility for a win), but from a theoretical perspective.
Connect With An FTC Investigation Attorney
Is the FTC hounding you? Are you being accused of “unfair and deceptive marketing” or some other violation of the FTC Act? Contact Kelly Warner. We’re an AV-rated firm that’s saved many a client from the FTC’s grip. Get in touch today.
Cha, A. E. (2016, May 25). FTC: Beware of companies peddling products to protect against Zika mosquitos. Retrieved July 11, 2016, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2016/05/24/ftc-beware-of-companies-peddling-products-to-protect-against-zika-mosquitos/