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FTC pursues firms advertising "free" product trials

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

The Federal Trade Commission follows through with its promise to enforce against marketers that falsely promise "free" product trials. The commission says it will announce Aug. 16 a lawsuit against a firm that allegedly marketed free trials of acai berry weight-loss and colon-cleansing supplements. FTC warned in February 2009 it would pursue firms that enrolled consumers in a "negative option" continuity program under which consumers are charged without consent for reoccurring shipments unless the consumer cancels. Marketers advertising acai products with negative option schemes caught the attention of Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Council of Better Business Bureaus (1"The Tan Sheet" March 30, 2009)

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