Final Order Approved Stopping False Advertising, Phony Reviews by Online Trampoline Sellers

Consumers were directed to websites which claimed to provide objective information, including unbiased 'expert reviews'

Final Order Approved Stopping False Advertising, Phony Reviews by Online Trampoline Sellers
Image: Pexels
July 19, 2017

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a final order settling charges that two brothers deceived consumers while marketing and selling their trampolines online.

False recommendations

According to the FTC's complaint, the brothers—Son "Sonny" Le and Bao "Bobby" Le—advertised and sold Infinity and Olympus Pro brand trampolines on several websites featuring the logos of supposedly independent review organizations that has allegedly tested and approved the brothers' trampolines.

Consumers who clicked on the logos were directed to the websites of those reviewing organizations, which claimed to provide objective information, including unbiased "expert reviews" of specific brands and models, as well as ratings based on safety, performance, and other qualities. Each review site recommended the Les' Infinity and Olympus Pro trampolines.

nonobjective reviews

The FTC complaint alleged that the review entities were not independent and the reviews were not objective.

The FTC also charged in its complaint that Bobby Le posted online reviews that appeared to be from ordinary trampoline owners—praising the "strong frames" and other attributes of the Les' products, while disparaging other brands—without disclosing his connection to the products he was promoting.

The FTC's final order bars the brothers from engaging in such deceptive behavior in the future and requires them to clearly and conspicuously disclose any material connections between a reviewer and the product being reviewed.