Last month, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) approved a final consent order settling deceptive advertising charges against Mikey & Momo, Inc. and its owners regarding claims that its Aromaflage sprays and candles effectively repel mosquitoes, including mosquitoes that may be carrying the Zika virus and other diseases.
According to the FTC’s complaint, Mikey & Momo and its owners made false and unsubstantiated claims, such as “fragrance with function,” “repels mosquitoes for 2.5 hours,” “scientifically tested” and “rigorously tested at one of the world’s leading Universities”. Specifically, the FTC alleges that such claims were not supported by rigorous and reliable scientific evidence. Shifting gears, the FTC also alleges that Mikey & Momo promoted its products using what appeared to be independent and objective product reviews, without disclosing that such reviews were written by the owners of the company as well as family and relatives.
The consent order bars Mikey & Momo and its owners from engaging in deceptive conduct in the future and requires that they clearly and conspicuously disclose any material connection between a reviewer or endorser and the product being reviewed.
TAKEAWAY: Don’t get stung by the FTC. This case serves as a reminder that the FTC continues to be active in areas involving health claims and endorsements and testimonials.