FTC Drops Hammer On Skin-Care Sellers For Deceptive 'Risk-Free' Trials
This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet
A California district court has issued a temporary restraining order in response to FTC's complaint citing seven individuals and a "maze of interrelated shell companies" for deceptive "risk-free" skin-care trial offers. Buried in fine print on the companies' websites were terms specifying how very unfree the trials would be for unsuspecting consumers, FTC says, seeking a permanent injunction and consumer refunds.
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A proposed bill advancing through California's legislature would require businesses to present consumers with a standalone opt-in form for auto-enrollment programs that is separate from the consent mechanism for an introductory gift or offer, and then with written notice three to seven days before the first automatic payment goes through. California's rules for continuity marketing are already the toughest in the nation.
A California district court has imposed injunctions and monetary penalties on roughly 30 companies and individuals that cooperated to sell AuraVie, Dellure and LéOR Skincare offerings, among others, via deceptive “risk-free” trial plans, according to FTC. The agency says it will continue to go after negative-option billing schemes that charge consumers for recurring product shipments without their express consent.
In a presentation at the National Advertising Division Annual Conference, FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez discussed the commission’s priorities for the year ahead. Health claims and inadequate disclosures top the list following related settlements with advertisers in 2013 and the agency’s Operation Full Disclosure initiative.