Lindsey Duncan And Pure Health Fined $9 Million For Scam
Lindsey Duncan and his companies scammed people by deceptively touting the supposed weight-loss benefits of green coffee bean extract through a campaign that included appearances on The Dr. Oz Show, The View, and other television programs.
Lindsey Duncan and his companies, Pure Health LLC and Genesis Today, Inc., deceptively claimed that the supplement could cause people to lose 17 pounds and 16 percent of their body fat in just 12 weeks without diet or exercise, and that the claim was backed up by a clinical study. In September 2014, the FTC settled charges against the company that sponsored the severely flawed study that Duncan discussed on Dr. Oz.
Shortly after Lindsey Duncan agreed to appear on Dr. Oz but before the show aired, he began selling the extract and tailored a marketing campaign around his appearance on the show to capitalize on the “Oz effect” – a phenomenon in which discussion of a product on the program causes an increase in consumer demand.
For example, while discussing green coffee bean extract during the taping of Dr. Oz, Lindsey Duncan urged viewers to search for the product online using phrases his companies would use in search advertising to drive people to his companies websites selling the extract. He reached out to retailers, describing his upcoming appearance on The Dr. Oz Show and saying he planned to discuss the clinical trials that proved the supplement’s effectiveness. He and his companies also began an intensive effort to make the extract available in Walmart stores and on Amazon.com when the program aired.
Lindsey Duncan and his companies continued to use his Dr. Oz appearance in their marketing campaign after the show aired posting links to the episode on websites and using retail point-of-sale displays showing messages such as “New Health Discovery! As Seen on TV, ‘The Dieter’s Secret Weapon.’” After appearing on Dr. Oz, Duncan and his companies sold tens of millions of dollars’ worth of the extract.
Lindsey Duncan paid spokespeople to portray themselves on television shows as independent sources of information about green coffee bean extract and other natural remedies, while failing to disclose their financial ties to his companies.
Under an FTC settlement, Lindsey Duncan and his companies are barred from making deceptive claims about the health benefits or effectivness of any dietary supplement or drug product, and will pay $9 million. – Source FTC