FTC shuts down fake news sites that advertise dubious health claims

FTC Permanently Stops Six Operators from Using Fake News Sites that Allegedly Deceived Consumers about Acai Berry Weight-Loss Products
Alleged Fraudulent Affiliate Marketers will Surrender Assets under Settlements

Six online marketers agreed to settlements with the Federal Trade Commission that will permanently halt their allegedly deceptive practice of using fake news websites to market acai berry supplements and other weight-loss products.

As part of its ongoing crackdown on bogus health claims, the proposed settlements will require that the six operations make clear when their commercial messages are advertisements rather than objective journalism, and will bar the defendants from further deceptive claims about health-related products such as the acai berry weight-loss supplements and colon cleansers that they marketed.

According to the FTC complaints, in pitching the acai weight-loss products, the defendants posted attention-grabbing ads on search engines and high volume websites, such as “Acai Berry EXPOSED – Health Reporter Discovers the Shocking Truth,” driving traffic to the fake news sites and ultimately to the sites where merchants sell the products. The FTC received numerous complaints from consumers who paid between $70 and $100 for weight-loss products after having been deceived by fake news sites.

Tip: Consumerist

I do love a good crackdown on deception and bogus health claims. What an useful way to spend my tax dollars, actually doing a good deed.

  1 comment for “FTC shuts down fake news sites that advertise dubious health claims

  1. health fitness nutriton diet
    March 12, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    When the FTC announced that it was revising its 1980 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising, I fully expected an outcry from the online marketing community, but I was wrong. There were a few “the sky is falling” comments, but all in all it would seem the change in the rules is being ignored or viewed as not having much of an impact.

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