On October 5, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settled
its case with Supple, LLC over certain advertising claims regarding
its Supple joint supplement. Between 2011 and 2015, the company
advertised (via social media, radio, and in-person pitches) that
the supplement was scientifically proven to provide complete relief
from chronic and severe joint pain stemming from arthritis and
fibromyalgia. Additionally, the FTC charged one of the
company's principals for making unsubstantiated "expert
endorsement" claims and for misrepresenting herself as an
independent, impartial medical expert when in fact she was an
employee of the company. As part of the settlement, Supple
and its principals may be required to pay $150 million to the
FTC if they fail to comply with the terms of the stipulated order.
Advertisers and marketers should ensure that any claims they make
about pain relief, disease treatment, or other health benefits are
supported by valid scientific evidence. Additionally, endorsements
should adequately disclose any material connection between the
advertiser and the endorser.
This article is presented for informational purposes only
and is not intended to constitute legal advice.
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