Companies Marketing Green Coffee Bean Extract Using Flawed Study will Settle FTC Complaint
The marketer of a diet supplement will pay a $9 million fine for claiming the product helped people lose weight without diet or exercise.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint alleges Lindsey Duncan and his companies used a flawed study to tout the weight-loss benefits of green coffee bean extract through various marketing campaigns including an appearance on the Dr. Oz Show and The View.
As part of the settlement, Duncan and his companies, Pure Health LLC and Genesis Today, Inc. will pay $9 million for consumer redress and is barred from making deceptive claims about the health benefits or efficacy of any dietary supplement or drug product.
Duncan claimed that green coffee bean extract could help consumers lose 17 pounds and 16 percent of their body fat in 12 weeks without diet or exercise, a claim which they said was backed up by a clinical study. The sponsor of that study settled its own FTC complaint in September 2014 for $3.5 million.
Duncan capitalized on his Dr. Oz appearance by using it to market the product even before the show had aired. According to the complaint, company staff also made an intensive effort to make the supplement available at Walmart and on Amazon.com and Duncan used special keywords during the show to drive internet traffic to their websites.
The complaint also states that Duncan and several paid spokespeople appeared on television shows as independent sources, but did not disclose their financial ties to the companies.