The FTC charged four people and a dozen businesses for making false or unsupported health claims on supplements that could increase focus, concentration, IQ, and brainpower.
The settlement requires the defendents to pay over $600,000 for claiming Geniux, Xcel, EVO, and Ion-Z could increase concentration by 312 percent, boost brainpower by up to 89.2 percent and enhance memory recall.
The ads claimed that scientists were calling their “Smart Pill ‘Viagra for the Brain,’” and that it should be “taken as directed for extreme IQ effects.”
Many claims were made on websites designed to look like real news sites that featured false claims from Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking.
“It is more important than ever that advertisers have solid evidence to back up their claims,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The FTC will hold companies accountable when they deceptively design their ads to look like news articles and fabricate celebrity endorsements and consumer testimonials.”
The FTC also says that customers, who paid up to $57 per bottle, couldn’t get a promised 100% money back guarantee.
Health officials remind the public that the government does not review or evaluate supplements for safety or effectiveness. Even a natural supplement can be risky depending on health and any other medicines taken.
According to the FTC, patients should ask their doctor if a supplement is safe for them.
Any claims that might be advertised falsely should be reported to the FTC.