FTC’s Stern POM Opinion Expands Disease Claim Findings
This article was originally published in The Pink Sheet Daily
The Federal Trade Commission’s 5-0 decision against POM Wonderful finds the firm made false and misleading claims and requires it to conduct at least two randomized controlled clinical trials for all future disease-related claims. POM vows to appeal the order in federal court.
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FTC is implementing Trump administration directives on "eliminating wasteful, unnecessary regulations and processes," but attempting to reduce regulated industries' compliance burden is not the same as slowing FTC enforcement against false and misleading advertising, attorneys say.
With the POM Wonderful litigation off its desk, FTC will have more resources to bring cases against other advertisers, attorney Mark Ullman warns. Likely target areas in 2013 and beyond include social media marketing and more subtle disease claims.
Claims about the benefits of pomegranate made in unpaid-for media appearances should not qualify as “advertising” under the FTC Act, argues POM Wonderful. Among the claims FTC is pursuing, POM owner Lynda Resnick told Newsweek that pomegranate juice is “40 percent as effective as Viagra.”