TINA.org in the News

2018 • 201720162015201420132012


Consumer group says most U.S. cancer centers use misleading ads
Herb Weisbaum, 19 November, 2018

Out of 48 cancer centers, 90 percent used “deceptively promoting atypical patient testimonials,” in television and digital marketing material, according to the report, “Deceptive Marketing of Hope,” published last month by Truth In Advertising (TINA.org), a nonprofit consumer group.

Cancer Hospital Ads Deceive Patients About Their Chances Of Survival, New Report Finds
Stephanie M. Lee, 25 October, 2018

This type of ad is not an anomaly. A report out this week from TruthInAdvertising.org, also known as TINA.org, suggests that cancer hospitals frequently use patient testimonies to paint an overly rosy picture of a typical patient’s results. “It’s providing them with a hope that they may have thought didn’t exist for their cancer,” Bonnie Patten, TINA.org’s executive director, told BuzzFeed News. “It turns out that what they’re being told is just deceptive.

False hope for cancer patients: Report slams hospitals for tear-jerking ads that make unusual success stories sound common
Natalie Rahhal, 26 October, 2018

Truth In Advertising (TINA) investigated the advertisements of 50 highest-spending cancer centers of 2017 for their scathingly titled report, Cancer Care: The Deceptive Marketing of Hope… The top spender that TINA looked at was Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), which spent $69 million on ads in 2017 – nearly as much as the other 49 centers the organization assessed combined. And it was one of the 43 centers the TINA determined was deceptive in its marketing.

Amazon’s “Today’s Deals” Page Is Full Of Fake Deals And Made Up Discounts

Leticia Miranda, 5 October, 2018

Bonnie Patten, executive director of Truth in Advertising, told BuzzFeed News that this kind of scheme, where a seller provides a price that is “simply made up” and never used to sell the good or service, is called fictitious pricing.
“What ends up happening is, consumers are duped into thinking they’re receiving a great bargain through a fictitious price comparison, so they stop doing the research or internet search and they purchase that item,” Patten said. “Had they ignored it and just looked at the ultimate price they would be paying, they would find a better deal.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Is Valued at $250 Million. Here Are All the Ways She Makes Money From the Cult Lifestyle Brand
Paul Schrodt, 10 September, 2018

The criticisms against Goop became more worrying. In 2017, the watchdog group Truth in Advertising Inc. filed a complaint with California health regulators charging that the site was making dubious health claims about its products, which became the basis of the lawsuit that Goop just settled.

Goop Settles Over Vaginal Eggs Health Claims
Anna Werner, 6 Sept, 2018
[Video Timestamp: 01:56 – 02:30]

Health and wellness is a very hot industry. And part and parcel with that we’re seeing significant rise in misleading and deception marketing claims.”

Bonnie Patten is Executive Director of Truth in Advertising and says Goop isn’t alone. Her site has more than 2,000 examples of wellness companies making inappropriate disease treatment claims.

“Anytime a consumer sees a product that’s being marketed as a treatment or cure-all, they need to be wary about that. And they should definitely talk to a health care provider before purchasing it.” “

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Settles Vaginal Eggs Claims
Soo Youn (article), Linsey Davis (video); 5 Sept, 2018
[Video Timestamp: 01:10 – 01:55]

I think when people see Gwyneth Paltrow, they see a person they want to emulate.”

But yesterday, a gaff for Goop. They’ve settled a lawsuit filed against the company by a consumer advocacy group called Truth in Advertising, alleging they made unsubstantiated health claims about some of its products. Among the most provocative products: the Jade and Rose Quartz vaginal eggs.

According to the Orange County District Attorney, the complaint alleged that Goop advertised the Jade and Rose Quartz vaginal eggs could: balance hormones, regulate menstrual cycles, prevent uterine prolapse, and increase bladder control.

“We’ve found crystals that said they could treat infertility […] perfumes that said they could heal lung disease[…]” “

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Touted the ‘Benefits’ of Putting a Jade Egg in Your Vagina. Now It Must Pay.
Amy B Wang, 5 Sept, 2018

This isn’t the first time Goop has drawn negative attention for dubious health claims about its serums, vitamins, crystals, “detox” regimens and other products. The nonprofit group Truth in Advertising has documented more than 50 examples of Goop claiming that the products it sells or promotes “can treat, cure, prevent, alleviate the symptoms of, or reduce the risk of developing a number of ailments, ranging from depression, anxiety, and insomnia, to infertility, uterine prolapse, and arthritis, just to name a few.”

About a third of those products — or simply their misleading claims — have since been taken down, the group reported.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Pays $145K Over ‘Unscientific’ Claims About Vaginal Jade Eggs
Rahul Kalvapalle, 5 Sept, 2018

California’s crackdown on Goop stems from an August 2017 complaint, filed by advertising watchdog group Truth In Advertising (TINA.org), which outlined over 50 specific cases in which the company claimed “either expressly or implicitly” that its products, or third-party products that it promotes, can treat and cure a wide variety of ailments.

TINA.org previously sent Paltrow a letter warning her that a complaint would be filed with regulators unless Goop cleaned up its “deceptive” marketing campaigns within a week, but the watchdog says Goop ended up making “only limited changes.”

Goop responded with a statement calling the claims “unsubstantiated and unfounded” and accusing TINA.org of making threats under arbitrary and unreasonable deadlines.

TINA.org hailed the Wednesday settlement as a victory for consumers.

“For far too long Paltrow and Goop have been taking advantage of susceptible consumers by using deceptive and misleading health claims to sell their wares and turn a profit,” said Bonnie Patten, executive director of TINA.org. “This settlement makes clear that no health and wellness company is above the law, and that Goop’s past illegal marketing tactics will no longer be tolerated.” “

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Will Pay $145,000 For Misleading Customers About That Vagina Egg
Brianna Sacks, 4 September, 2018

Prosecutors in California were spurred on by a complaint from Truth in Advertising, a watchdog group that investigated Goop’s marketing last summer, and found at least 50 instances in which the company claimed products sold on its site could “treat, cure, prevent, alleviate the symptoms” of a range of health issues, including anxiety, depression, infertility, and arthritis.

Tricky Ads From a Vitamin Company That Talks Up Openness
Sapna Maheshwari, 2 September, 2018

It’s a powerful marketing tactic, particularly among supplement companies, to refer to popular publications in ads to bolster credibility, Ms. Patten of Truth in Advertising said. “The key really in all this kind of marketing is transparency, so it has to be clear if the content is advertising,” she said.

Gwyneth Paltrow Says Goop Magazine Ended After Disagreement With Publisher Over Fact-Checking
Harriet Alexander, 26 July, 2018

The watchdog organization TruthInAdvertising.org (TINA) sent Paltrow a letter that referred to numerous instances of deceptive marketing claims.
Goop replied and adjusted some of its claims in the short period the letter allotted, but TINA found its response inadequate and reported Goop to the district attorney’s offices in both Santa Cruz and Santa Clara.

The Big Business of Being Gwyneth Paltrow
Taffy Brodesser-Akner, 25 July, 2018

…last summer, the watchdog organization TruthInAdvertising.org (TINA) sent G.P. a letter that referred to numerous instances of deceptive marketing claims — that the site’s products cured, treated or prevented inflammation, autoimmune diseases and more. Goop replied and adjusted some of its claims in the short period the letter allotted, but TINA found its response inadequate and reported Goop to the district attorney’s offices in both Santa Cruz and Santa Clara.

Goop Is Finally Getting Real About How They Promote Wacky Health Trends
Macaela Mackenzie, 18 June, 2018

Aside from becoming a bad internet joke, pushing unproven health claims can be harmful (just take a look at what the board-certified gynecologists we spoke to had to say about those vaginal eggs). In fact, last year, the site was accused of making more than 50 “inappropriate health claims,” after an investigation by consumer watchdog nonprofit Truth In Advertising.
So, in response, Goop is making some changes in an effort to be more transparent…

The Wall Street Journal: CMO Today Newsletter
Lara O’Reilly, 11 April, 2018

DJ Khaled edited or deleted some of his social media posts that mentioned alcohol brands after receiving a warning letter from a group of seven organizations including TruthInAdvertising.org, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Public Citizen and the Center for Digital Democracy. The letter alleged DJ Khaled wasn’t properly disclosing his brand endorsements in the posts and warned the alcohol promotions were inappropriately reaching minors.

Ads or Not? DJ Khaled faces scrutiny over social media booze posts
E.J. Schultz, 10 April, 2018

A collection of watchdog groups has done the impossible: They slowed down DJ Khaled’s brand plugs on social media, at least for alcohol.
The hip hop star and so-called “King of Snapchat” has dialed back posts mentioning liquor brands after scrutiny from watchdog groups alleging that his boozey social media musings reached minors and were not properly labeled as ads. Their complaint was led by Truthinadvertising.org, which advocates against deceptive marketing, and included groups such as Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Public Citizen and The Center for Digital Democracy.

DJ Khaled under fire for alcohol-sponsored social media posts
Michelle Gant, 10 April, 2018

Since receiving the letter nearly two weeks ago, TINA claims that Khaled has cleaned up his accounts, deleting many of the posts and adding a #AD disclosure to others that heavily feature Sovereign Brands’ Belaire sparkling wine and Bumbu rum, Diageo’s Ciroc vodka and Bacardi’s D’Usse cognac.

‘DJ Khaled has done the right thing by disclosing his material connections to these alcohol brands,’ TINA.org Executive Director Bonnie Patten said in the report. ‘Time will tell if he is truly committed to ensuring that his followers are not misled by deceptive ads on his social media accounts. As for the alcohol companies, their failure to make certain that DJ Khaled complied with FTC law is absolutely inexcusable.’

Black Friday 2017: 5 sneaky signs a deal isn’t actually worth it
Gina Ragusa, 20 November, 2017

The best way around misleading advertising and wasted time is to first check a retailer’s website for fine print — and review their return policy, lest you get suckered into a bad purchase in the Black Friday rush. Beware “deals” that seem designed to push you to buy something more expensive, as to Truth in Advertising warns.

The Best Advertiser on Fox News Wants You to Buy Gold Coins Because Fake News Is Bad
Justin Peters, 25 October, 2017

The website “Truth in Advertising” also notes that an elderly California woman sued Lear Capital in 2012, alleging that one of the company’s salespersons advised her that “rare numismatic gold and silver” was a much better investment than gold bullion. The lawsuit claimed that Lear had “intentionally misrepresented and overvalued the coins they sold to [the woman] … in order to defraud [her] of her funds.” Just because coins jingle doesn’t always mean that they are a good deal!

TINA.org is helping the FTC crack down on Kardashian-esque influencers
Ellen Vessels, 13 October, 2017

In August of 2016, Truth in Advertising (TINA.org) filed a complaint about the Kardashians to the FTC, saying that the (in)famous sisters had “failed to clearly and conspicuously disclose material connections to brands or the fact that the posts were paid ads, as required by federal law.”

The Perils of Multi-Level Marketing Programs
Tom Ashbrook, 4 October, 2017

They call it social retail. People, often women, selling to each other, neighbors, friends. Avon did it. Amway did it. It was called multi-level marketing. And now, in the social media era, it’s all over. The neighbor next door selling clothes, candles, skin care, supplements. The companies behind it promise big bucks and freedom. Some find those. Many do not. Some end up in trouble. Even friendships can get strained. This hour, On Point: When everybody’s selling from home.

The Kardashians Still Aren’t Disclosing Paid Ads On Instagram
Katie Kilkenny, 26 September, 2017

“On Monday night, Truth in Advertising (TINA.org) released a report that included a “sampling” of over 200 improper ad disclosures on the Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram accounts of Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe Kardashian, and half-sisters Kendall and Kylie Jenner. Individual databases of FTC guideline infringements that TINA.org has compiled for each sister include posts promoting Puma, Jet Lux, Sugar Bear Hair, and Fit Tea, among other brands.”

The Baffling Rise of Goop
Olga Khazan, 12 September, 2017

“But Truth in Advertising, a consumer-advocacy group, cited earthing in a database of 50-some instances in which Goop promoted unsubstantiated products or claims. Last month, Truth in Advertising urged two California district attorneys to investigate Goop and take “appropriate enforcement action.”

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Just Got Slammed For Deceptive Advertising
Stephanie M. Lee, 23 August, 2017

On Tuesday, Truth in Advertising said that it had catalogued more than 50 instances of the e-commerce startup claiming that its products — along with outside products it promotes on its blog and in its newsletter — could treat, cure, prevent, alleviate, or reduce the risk of ailments such as infertility, depression, psoriasis, anxiety, and even cancer. “The problem is that the company does not possess the competent and reliable scientific evidence required by law to make such claims,” the advocacy group wrote in a blog post.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop slammed for ‘deceptive’ health claims
Katherine Lam, 24 August, 2017

Truth in Advertising announced its concerns with Goop’s products in an Aug. 11 statement, specifically noting a blog post that had “problematic health claims.” The organization gave Goop an Aug. 18 deadline to correct alleged illegal health claims on its website.
“Despite being handed this information, Goop to date has only made limited changes to its marketing,” the organization said.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Accused of ‘Deceptive’ Health Claims
Herb Weisbaum, 28 August, 2017

TINA said it investigated more than 50 products sold on the site in which “the company claims, either expressly or implicitly, that its products – or third-party products that it promotes – can treat, cure, prevent, alleviate the symptoms of, or reduce the risk of developing a number of ailments, ranging from depression, anxiety and insomnia, to infertility, uterine prolapse and arthritis, just to name a few.

Edmonton Goop-debunker buoyed by renewed attack on Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness brand
The Canadian Press, 4 September, 2017

Really, I think that’s great, great news. Now, whether it will work is another question but I just think it’s fantastic that the attempt is being made and it’s highlighting how this is not accurate.”
Truth in Advertising has called on California regulators to investigate Goop for using “unsubstantiated, and therefore deceptive” claims to promote its health products.

Katie Kilkenny, 23 August, 2017

TINA.org’s most important takeaway was that Goop was exploiting vulnerabilities of women to make money,” says Bonnie Patten, Truth in Advertising’s executive director. “When they say that they can treat infertility with a crystal, that is a very serious health issue for many women who may be very much wanting to have a child, and it’s taking advantage of somebody’s inability to get pregnant, which is just horrible.

Advertising Watchdog Group Calls for an Investigation of Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop
Lisa Marie Segarra, 24 August, 2017

“TINA.org has catalogued a sampling of more than 50 instances in which the company claims, either expressly or implicitly, that its products —or third-party products that it promotes — can treat, cure, prevent, alleviate the symptoms of, or reduce the risk of developing a number of ailments, ranging from depression, anxiety, and insomnia, to infertility, uterine prolapse, and arthritis, just to name a few,” the letter reads.

A new investigation alleges Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop has made more than 50 ‘deceptive’ health claims
Caroline Praderio, 23 August, 2017

On Tuesday, TINA.org released the results of its investigation, claiming that Goop markets some of its own products (and promotes third-party products) using “deceptive,” “illegal” health-related claims that aren’t backed up by solid scientific evidence. Now, they’ve filed a complaint with two California district attorneys’ offices, asking for an official investigation.
“The bottom line here is they’re using deceptive marketing to exploit consumers, and specifically women, to buy products that can’t live up to the claims that are being made,” Patten said. “And that’s just really terrible.”

Goop Could Face Consequences for Making Deceptive Health Claims About Its Weird Products
Christina Cauterucci, 24 August, 2017

“The company does not possess the competent and reliable scientific evidence required by law to make such claims,” the advocacy group said in a blog post about the filing. Truth in Advertising warned Goop in a letter earlier this month that if it didn’t take down or modify its “deceptive” claims within a week, the organization would contact district attorneys on the California Food, Drug and Medical Device Task Force.

Ad watchdog criticises Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop for snake oil ‘deception’
John Glenday, 25 August, 2017

Bonnie Patten, executive director of TINA.org, said marketing products as having the ability to treat diseases and disorders “not only violates established law but is a terribly deceptive marketing ploy that is being used by Goop to exploit women for its own financial gain.

Watchdog group accuses Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop of ‘deceptive’ marketing claims
Katie Kindelan, 24 August, 2017

Goop, with this kind of deceptive marketing is targeting a very vulnerable population who are desperate to treat, cure, prevent certain ailments,” Bonnie Patten, the executive director of Truth in Advertising, Inc., told ABC News. “In exploiting this sort of health marketing, they’re really putting profits over people. 

Do MLMs Protect Their Online Sellers From Fraud?
Stephie Grob Plante, 24 August, 2017

According to watchdog nonprofit Truth in Advertising, bill HR 5230 — proposed by the Direct Selling Association — did not pass the House of Representatives last year, but has now been attached to 2018’s Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill as the Molenaar amendment, and will go to a House vote soon. Although it’s touted as an “anti-pyramid scheme” bill, its provisions loosen the definition of “ultimate user” from a purchaser outside of the company (a consumer) to include people within the company — which is pyramiding.

Penny Auction Site Accused of Thinly Veiled Illegal Gambling
Holly A. Melton and Alan L. Friel, 9 August, 2017

According to a recent investigation by watchdog organization Truth in Advertising (TINA), DealDash.com, a “penny auction” site, adheres to precisely this business model and has profited handsomely as a result. Website members participate in auctions hosted by DealDash, bidding on items by using “blocks” of hundreds of bids typically purchased at $.60 per bid. A timer on the product page counts down for 10 seconds, within which time new bids can be placed.

Las Vegas workers buy into direct selling
Nicole Raz, 5 August, 2017

LuLaRoe’s 2016 income disclosure statement accounts only for income that retailers made based on the sales production of their teams. According to consumer advocacy group Truth in Advertising, the statement shows more than 85 percent of retailers received no bonuses in 2015 and the average annual bonus paid to a LuLaRoe retailer at all ranks was $92.

Group Says Target Misled You About Made in USA Claims
Benjamin Briscoe, 4 August, 2017

The group Truth In Advertising says retail giant Target is taking advantage of your patriotism on their website. The consumer watchdog found 100 items marked made in the USA, but when you actually look at the product packaging or manufacture website, it’s made in part or totally somewhere else. Everything from the Target brand mouthwash to a $200 playhouse for kids.

‘They are being deceived and they may be paying more for a product that isn’t what they think they’re getting,’ said Truth In Advertising’s Bonnie Patten.”

Social media influencers are changing the way companies market their products
Jo Ling Kent, 9 July, 2017

Bonnie Patten is the executive director at Truth in Advertising. ‘It’s the wild west right now. The vast majority of social media influencers are not disclosing that these are ads… To date, the FTC has only brought four actions against companies that have violated these social media influencer rules, and that’s four out of thousands that are occurring each and every day.’

Local businesses bring products to Walmart shelves. Here’s how they did it
Jennifer Lu, 6 July, 2017

Walmart was criticized by advocacy group Truth in Advertising Inc. in 2016 for labeling more than 100 items as “Made in America” when the products stated otherwise on the packaging or elsewhere on the website. Walmart disputes the claim, saying two-thirds of what it spends on merchandise goes to products made, assembled or sourced in the U.S.

DealDash Penny Auction Sued for Running ‘Perverse Lotteries’
Herb Weisbaum, 30 June, 2017

Earlier this month, TINA.org filed complaints against the company with the Federal Trade Commission and with attorneys general in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.

‘DealDash’s marketing claim — that consumers can generally expect to win items on the cheap — is simply not true,’ Bonnie Patten, TINA.org’s executive director, told NBC News. “

Don’t Fall for the ‘Memory’ Pills Targeting Baby Boomers
Emily Dreyfuss, 22 June, 2017

In January of this year, the New York State Attorney General sued the makers of Prevagen for false advertising claims, since there’s no evidence its jellyfish-based formula can help improve memory as it claims. ‘We sent letters to at least five major networks who were airing these ads,’ says Bonnie Patton, director of the consumer watchdog group Truth in Advertising. ‘And guess what? Prevagen ads are still airing.’

Picture perfected marketing
Janelle Nanos, 17 June, 2017

“They’re taking what could be generally be categorized as non-commercial speech and transforming that into commercial speech,” said Bonnie Patten, the executive director of Truth In Advertising, an advocacy group that has been tracking influencer campaigns on Instagram. While acknowledging that Spotted fills a niche for many marketers looking for authenticity, Patten worries that creating a new marketplace might inspire celebs to consciously wear clothing or use other brand name merchandise in the hopes that they might get a check in the mail from the manufacturer.

Instagram Will Add ‘Paid Partnership’ Tag to Sponsored Posts, After FTC’s Warnings to Celebrity Users
Todd Spangler, 14 June, 2017

Last summer, the Kardashian-Jenner clan was singled out by a watchdog group over sponsored Instagram posts that weren’t labeled as such. The group, Truth in Advertising, claimed it found more than 100 Instagram posts on family members’ accounts that were paid product placements that were not disclosed as advertising.

93% of celebrity influencers don’t signpost ads correctly on Instagram
Rebecca Stewart, 13 June, 2017

Earlier this year, non-profit group Truth In Advertising (TINA) claimed that the Kardashian-Jenner clan, who boast a collective 316 million followers, had a combined 100 Instagram posts in violation of the rules, showing the problem isn’t going anywhere despite the FTC’s crackdown.

Bob’s Stores Liquidation Sales Don’t Always Mean Savings
Christiane Cordero, 9 June, 2017

As Truth in Advertising’s Bonnie Patten explains, when retailers set prices, they must attempt to sell those items for a reasonable amount of time. They can then determine a sales price that is lower than the initial price.

“However if in the beginning they just make up that value price and they never attempt to sell that price, then that’s considered a fictitious price and the bargain isn’t really there,” Patten said.

What do Snooki, Lindsay Lohan, and J. Lo have in common? The FTC put them on notice.
Janelle Nanos, 9 May 2017

‘I think that brands have come to realize that this is an efficient and effective way of marketing,’ said Bonnie Patten, the executive director of Truth In Advertising. She said that new guidelines by the commission that require promotional hashtags to appear at the top of posts are a start, but they’re not enough.
‘We’ll see an Instagram post goes up with an ad, and it won’t disclose it, and the next day they’ll add the hashtag #ad,’ to avoid scrutiny, she said. But most post engagement happens within the first 10 hours of posting, so the brands have already ‘gotten all the bang for the buck.’

FTC ‘educating’ influencers like J.Lo and Lindsay Lohan
Richard Johnson, 9 May 2017

‘It’s time social-media influencers are held accountable for their actions,’ Bonnie Patten, spokeswoman for Truth in Advertising told me.
‘If some were fined, it would be a good deterrent. Right now, they are operating with impunity.’

Why Is My Facebook News Feed a Hawker’s Alley for Leggings and Shady Health Supplements?
Kate Knibbs, 8 May 2017

Consumer advocate Bonnie Patten, executive director of an organization called Truth in Advertising, has investigated multilevel marketing groups and has observed their proliferation on Facebook and other platforms. “Social media has been aggressively used by this generation [of MLM sellers],” she told me. Patten noted that new product sellers sometimes use too-good-to-be-true promises about how easy it is to get rich from the comfort of home. “They tend to be quite deceptive about how much income distributors expect to make if they join these MLMs.

How Online Shopping Makes Suckers of Us All
Jerry Useem, May 2017

The past year has seen a wave of similar lawsuits over phony list prices, reports Bonnie Patten, the executive director of TruthinAdvertising.org. In 2016, Amazon began to drop most mentions of “list price,” and in some cases added a new reference point: its own past price.

The FTC wants social media stars to stop sneaking in ads on Instagram
Julien Rath, 20 April 2017

Celebrities, like Kendall Jenner, came under fire in August 2016 after the non-profit organization Truth in Advertising found over 100 posts that had no mentions of them being paid for.

Federal Trade Commission Pens Letters Admonishing Instagram Influencers
Emma Sarran Webster, 20 April 2017

Though this is the first time the FTC has directly contacted offending influencers about the issue, it isn’t the first time brands and celebrities alike have come under fire for their endorsement practices. Last year, Truth in Advertising threatened to report all of the Kardashian/Jenner sisters to the FTC for their “deceptive marketing campaigns” on social media and Lord & Taylor settled a dispute with the FTC over a blogger-centric social media campaign.

FTC Puts Influencers on Notice for Potential Disclosure Violations
Alexandra Steigrad, 19 April 2017

In the past, influencers, such as the Kardashian sisters, have been called out for not labeling promoted products. Last summer, nonprofit watchdog group Truth in Advertising called out the Kardashians for failing to disclose on their social media accounts that certain posts were advertisements. Now, many of those posts now include labels such as ‘#ad.’

A Bunch of Celebrities Are in Trouble With the FTC for Their Instagram Posts
Ashley Weatherford, 19 April 2017

Later that summer, watchdog group Truth in Advertising warned the Kardashian-Jenner family that if they did not amend their sponsored Instagram posts, they would report the sisters to the FTC.

The Federal Trade Commission to Scrutinize Media Companies
Alexandra Steigrad, 30 March 2017

A letter was sent by the nonprofit group Truth in Advertising outlining the issue, and since then, the family members who are paid to endorse products designate a sponsored post with “#ad” or “#sp.” Now most media companies spend more time working with lawyers to vet influencers or the agencies that represent them. And influencer agencies spend time laying out the rules to their clients.

Don’t trust the list prices on Amazon, Consumer Watchdog says
David Pierson, 16 March 2017

Unfortunately, this sales tactic or fictitious pricing actually works and retailers know that,” said Bonnie Patten, executive director of Truth in Advertising, a consumer advocacy group unaffiliated with the Consumer Watchdog study. “It’s not just Amazon.

If Your Apartment Is #SponCon You Have To Tell Us
Brendan O’Connor, 16 March 2017

If Ms. Gevinson is being compensated in any way for her promotion of the Two Trees property, then her social media posts are effectively ads and she is required by law to clearly and conspicuously disclose any material connection she has to the company in all of her posts,” Truth in Advertising’s legal director, Laura Smith, told Jezebel. “When characters are limited, the easiest way to disclose this type of connection is to start the post with ‘#Ad,’ or even better, make the disclosure in the image itself. It’s really that simple.

What’s Up With David Beckham Casually Posing With Lotion?
Katie Notopoulos, 25 February 2017

Then I asked Bonnie Patten, a lawyer and executive director of the nonprofit advocacy group Truth In Advertising. “The FTC law is quite clear,” Patton said. “If there is a material connection between the endorser and the product, then that needs to be disclosed.”
Ok, but what about this particular post? Patten said: “we would look at an Instagram post like this and say it’s Mr. Beckham’s responsibility and the responsibility of the company to make sure that consumers are informed that he has a material connection to this product.

The Trump era will be a boon for multilevel marketing companies
Michelle Celarier, 21 February 2017

There’s little hope, according to both critics and cheerleaders of the MLM industry, that the Trump administration will assume such a strict posture toward Herbalife’s peers. “The more likely scenario is that they just won’t bring a pyramid scheme case,” said Bonnie Patten, executive director of Truth in Advertising, a consumer advocacy group that helped the FTC in its prosecution of Vemma, a nutritional-product MLM that the FTC alleged was a pyramid scheme in August 2015.

Fox’s Fake News And 6 Times Corporate Marketing Campaigns Went Wrong
Wayne Duggan, 21 February 2017

Predictably, many readers and consumer advocates were not pleased. “Using a fake news site to lure consumers into buying movie tickets is basically a form of deceptive marketing,” TruthinAdvertising.org executive director Bonnie Patten said of the campaign.

20th Century Fox Used Fake News to Publicize ‘A Cure for Wellness’
Liam Stack, 15 February 2017

‘This absolutely crosses the line,’ added Bonnie Patten, the executive director of the consumer watchdog TruthinAdvertising.org. ‘Using a fake news site to lure consumers into buying movie tickets is basically a form of deceptive marketing.’

Why even businesses with ‘A’ ratings can’t be trusted
Lisa Fickenscher, 8 February 2017

‘The message we want to get across is that the BBB is not a consumer protection agency or a government agency,’ said TINA spokeswoman Shana Mueller. ‘Ratings are not always what you think they mean.’

Better Business Bureau ratings aren’t always reliable, says ad nonprofit group
Abigail Elise, 8 February 2017

The Better Business Bureau says that it’s not a “consumer watchdog,” but a “mediator between aggrieved consumers and companies,” TINA.org said. However, the Virginia-based group claims that consumers are 83 percent more likely to choose companies that have its seal of accreditation.

Clear-cut fraud? Quincy Bioscience faces a potentially ruinous lawsuit over memory claims
Marc Eisen, 18 January 2017

In this case, 218 subjects were periodically tested on nine computerized cognitive tasks over 90 days. Prevagen’s packaging prominently displays a chart tracking improved memory at 8, 30 and 90 days for the subjects. The problem, says the advocacy group Truth in Advertising, is that Quincy did the study in-house and the results were not peer-reviewed by outside scientists.

Marketers exploit the aged with unproven brain-health claims
Rick Schmitt, 12 January 2017

But whether it is illegally selling a drug still appears to be unresolved, according to FDA documents obtained by Truth in Advertising Inc., a Madison, Conn., consumer advocacy group, and reviewed by FairWarning. An FDA spokeswoman declined comment, citing “an open compliance matter” involving Quincy. A company official also declined comment.

Memory supplement from jellyfish doesn’t work, FTC says
Herb Weisbaum, 10 January 2017

Laura Smith is with the consumer group Truth in Advertising. They first raised warning flags about Prevagen more than a year ago.
“They don’t have the appropriate scientific backup to make those claims, so people with memory issues, many of whom are elderly and a vulnerable population is being led to believe that if they pop this pill, their memory will improve,” Smith said.

Michael Lindell, MyPillow Inventor: 5 Fast Facts
Daniel S. Levine, 5 January 2017

Beginning in February 2016, Truth In Advertising (TINA) contacted the company, letting it know that it has not met the standards to prove any of these claims. MyPillow pledged to TINA that it would drop the claims. Indeed, Lindell is no longer referred to as a “sleep expert” on the site.
TINA’s complaints eventually led to a group of California County Attorneys filing a lawsuit for false advertising. In November 2016, SFGate.com reported that MyPillow agreed to pay a $1 million settlement.

Better Business Bureau Accuses ‘MyPillow’ of ‘Deceptive’ Advertising
Miguel Almaguer/Lester Holt, 4 January 2017

Bonnie Patten, Executive Director at truthinadvertising.org: ‘This was an example of a retailer trying to have consumers perceive a great bargain that actually wasn’t there’

‘My Pillow,’ the infomercial sensation, flunks out of Better Business Bureau
Drew Harwell, 4 January 2017

The bureau’s announcement comes just a few months after My Pillow agreed to pay $1 million to settle a consumer lawsuit alleging the company overstated the benefits of its products. The company had claimed its pillows could prevent sleep loss from insomnia, restless leg syndrome, neck pain, fibromyalgia, sleep apnea and migraines, raising alarms at the consumer watchdog Truth in Advertising.org, as The Washington Post reported. The organization also objected to Lindell’s claim that he was a “sleep expert,” when he had no such training.

My Pillow, the infomercial sensation, flunks out of Better Business Bureau
Derek Hawkins, 4 January 2017

The bureau’s announcement comes just a few months after My Pillow agreed to pay $1 million to settle a consumer protection lawsuit alleging the company overstated the benefits of its products. The company had claimed — without evidence — that its pillows could prevent sleep loss from insomnia, restless leg syndrome, neck pain, fibromyalgia, sleep apnea and migraines, raising alarms at the consumer watchdog Truth in Advertising.org, as The Washington Post reported. The organization also objected to Lindell’s claim that he was a “sleep expert,” when he had no such training.

BBB revokes MyPillow accreditation
2 January 2017

This is just the latest bump in the road for MyPillow. In November Lindell agreed to pay a penalty of $1 million after a group of California County Attorneys took legal action against the company, alleging deceptive advertising. A consumer watchdog organization said MyPillow’s website made unsubstantiated claims its products can cure snoring, migraines, fibromyalgia, and other health maladies.

5 Trends Dominated Ad Law in 2016
Jason W. Gordon & Michael E. Strauss, 30 December 2016

The Kardashians (and Jenners) need no introduction. They’re everywhere. Indeed, the Kardashian endorsement machine was in full swing this year, and faced its fair share of criticism. Kim Kardashian West, for example, posted about her love of Sugar Bear Hair vitamins over the summer. Her posts resulted in a New York Times article questioning whether the lack of disclosures in certain posts are due to a genuine love of the products by celebrities, or a failure to comply with the FTC’s endorsement guides.10 In August, Truth in Advertising called into question the Kardashians’ endorsement practices, cataloging over 100 instances of their alleged failure to comply with the endorsement guides. The organization shared its findings with the FTC.

‘Instagram Face’: Is It the End of Good Makeup?
Crystal Martin, 30 November 2016

‘It has to be clear to the reasonable consumer that the content they’re viewing is an advertisement,’ said Bonnie Patten, executive director of Truth in Advertising, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group. ‘It’s not enough to hide that info in the fine print.’ In August, the organization filed a complaint with the Kardashian-Jenners for social media ads that looked like testimonials.

Instagram Advertisers Switch From Celebrities To ‘Microinfluencers’
Leticia Miranda, 30 November 2016

The FTC has not explicitly told brands and influencers how they need to disclose their financial relationships, Bonnie Patten, an attorney and executive director of the non-profit group Truth In Advertising, told BuzzFeed News.
“You can’t hide the disclosure in a show more description in a YouTube page,” said Patten. “You can’t hide the hashtag #ad or #igothisforfree in the midst of 22 other hashtags. Basically the law says you have to be transparent and the consumer shouldn’t have to work harder to figure out whether this is an ad or not.”

‘Deceptive marketing works’ — social media ads grab attention of regulators
Dianne Buckner, 20 November 2016

“We see social media influencers being paid, but consumers not knowing that they’re receiving monetary compensation for it,” says Bonnie Patten, director of Truth in Advertising, an American consumer group.
“It’s only human nature that if you receive something for free, or you’re paid over $100,000 to put up a post, that may change your mode of bias and interest in regard to that product or service. And consumers have a right to know that.”

Own a MyPillow? Company agrees to pay $1 million over claims pillow can cure insomnia, pain
Leada Gore, 18 November 2016

Consumer protection group Truthinadvertising.org, which conducted the investigation that led to the suit, praised the decision by MyPillow to remove the claims from its advertising.
“While MyPillow is doing the right thing by taking down these unsubstantiated health claims, they never should have been there in the first place,” said TINA.org Executive Director Bonnie Patten. “I’m certain that there were consumers who relied on these deceptive marketing claims in making their purchases.”

Orlando boom company Jeunesse faces scrutiny over direct sales structure
Paul Brinkmann, 14 November 2016

Jeunesse has drawn the attention of a not-for-profit group, Truth in Advertising, which was praised by the FTC in August 2015 for helping expose a direct-selling company, Vemma. After TINA.org investigated Vemma, which sold energy drinks, the FTC temporarily halted operations of that company.

How celebrities like the Kardashians are bending the advertising rules in the social media age
Pete Evans, 11 November 2016

That’s according to the FTC’s own rules, which make it clear that you can’t blur the line between authenticity and marketing on social media. The Kardashians’ feeds are now on the radar of the watchdog as a result of Truth in Advertising’s complaint.

Why MyPillow’s CEO isn’t resting easy
Jonathan Barr, 4 November 2016

According to marketing watchdog Truth in Advertising.Org (TINA), Lindell also described himself in his ads as a “sleep expert,” even though he has no formal scientific training in the field.
TINA first raised questions about MyPillow in February. At that time, Lindell pledged to the nonprofit that it would remove the misleading medical claims about its product. “Enthusiastic” customers, however, continued to argue that My Pillow cured their ailments, endorsements that Lindell said he couldn’t control.

MyPillow Has to Pay $1 Million For Making Phony Claims In Its Ads
Marlisse A. Cepeda, 4 November 2016

According to an investigation from Truth in Advertising (TINA.org), a consumer watchdog group, the ads claim to treat conditions like sleep apnea and insomnia. Customer testimonials (which appeared on the company’s website but have since been taken down) also praised the pillow’s ability to treat symptoms for everything from acid reflux to cerebral palsy. If that sounds way too good to be true, it is.

MN-based MyPillow fined $1M for deceptive ads
4 November 2016

The consumer watchdog group truthinadvertising.org (TINA.org) sounded the alarm about MyPillow back in February and shared its findings with prosecutors in those nine counties. TINA.org’s investigation concluded that the company made unsubstantiated claims that its pillow could treat or cure a variety of sleep disorders, including insomnia, sleep apnea, and restless leg syndrome.

MyPillow Mogul Michael Lindell Sees Self in Donald Trump
Kelly Weill, 4 November 2016

The language quietly disappeared from the website after consumer affairs group Truth In Advertising published a January 2016 investigation into the company. The TINA investigation, which accused MyPillow of making unsubstantiated health claims, became the basis of an October lawsuit by nine California counties. This week, MyPillow agreed to shell out nearly $1 million in civil penalties and another $100,000 to California-based domestic violence charities.

Infomercial sleeper ‘My Pillow’ gets $1 million wake-up call over false medical claims
Ben Guarino, 3 November 2016

TINA.org also took issue with the fact that Lindell used the title of “sleep expert,” though he had no formal training as such. My Pillow promoted itself as the official pillow of the National Sleep Foundation – without disclosing the company had a financial relationship with the organization. The consumer group said it supplied information from its investigation to officials in California, one of the states where My Pillow advertises.

My Pillow Settles Consumer Lawsuit Over Health Claims for $1 Million
Mary H.J. Farrell, 3 November 2016

Earlier this year, the consumer watchdog Truth in Advertising (TINA.org) warned My Pillow that it would file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission if the unsubstantiated claims continued. My Pillow scrubbed its website of any health claims, but others continued cropping up on its social media sites, TINA.org reports.
TINA.org shared its information with the California consumer groups, and last month the district attorneys of 10 counties filed a lawsuit alleging that My Pillow “knew or reasonably should have known” that the marketing claims were likely to mislead consumers.

Full of Fluff? MyPillow Ordered to Pay $1M for Bogus Ads
Herb Weisbaum, 3 November 2016

The consumer watchdog group truthinadvertising.org (TINA.org) sounded the alarm about MyPillow back in February and provided its findings to prosecutors in California.
TINA.org’s investigation concluded that the company made unsubstantiated claims that its pillow could treat or cure a variety of sleep disorders, including insomnia, sleep apnea, and restless leg syndrome.

MyPillow gets rude awakening with $1M suit settlement
John Ewoldt, 2 November 2016

After being supplied with evidence of unsupported health claims by Truthinadvertising.org, California consumer protection officials alleged in a lawsuit filed a month ago that MyPillow “knew or reasonably should have known” that the marketing claims were likely to mislead consumers.

My Pillow agrees to $1 million in penalties to settle suit over marketing claims
Connie Thompson, 2 November 2016

Pumped up sales pitches from founder Mike Lindell have helped rack up hundreds of millions in MyPillow sales. But, Consumer advocates at truthinadvertising.org launched an investigation over some of the claims. So did consumer protection officials in California. The allegations include misleading marketing and inappropriate health claims with no reliable scientific evidence.

MyPillow Subjected to Plenty of Legal Tossing and Turning
Laura Northrup, 1 November 2016

Truth in Advertising has been on the pillow’s case for most of the last year, and consumer protection officials in California have come to a settlement with the company over accusations of false advertising. Turns out that you can’t make unfounded claims about how a pillow treats actual medical problems.

Hammonton manufacturer small, but growing — with a boost from a giant
Martin DeAngelis, 26 October 2016

Still, critics have questioned that commitment. The nonprofit Truth in Advertising called Wal-Mart’s website “a Made in the USA labeling mess,” saying it found more than 100 misuses of that claim on the site early this year.

New Ways to Avoid Surprise Subscription TV Bills
Christopher Elliott, 23 October 2016

“It’s an increasingly popular billing tactic used by subscription services,” says Bonnie Patten, the executive director of Truth in Advertising, a non-profit organization. “Unfortunately, all too often the companies using these negative option offers fail to obtain consumers’ express consent for the recurring charges.”

Repackaging deal benefits from cheap labor
Matthew Hansen, 23 October 2016

On the Internet, Nylrem hair rollers that appear identical to the store-bought ones also are described as “Made in U.S.A.”
“If that is the case, then that’s a violation of the law,” says Bonnie Patten, executive director of Truth in Advertising, a deceptive-advertising watchdog. “Not only are they harming consumers by deceiving them, but they are also economically harming the company’s competitors who are being honest.”

Gold posts: Social-media endorsements are the latest thing in advertising
15 October 2016

Yet as media agencies and brands have piled in, the grey area between voluntary celebrity endorsements and paid advertisements has grown murky. Not all influencers label their posts clearly with “#ad”. Consumer watchdogs are crying foul. One, Truth in Advertising, recently accused Ms Kardashian and her sisters of running “deceptive marketing campaigns”.

State says e-cigarette company changed its name, kept deceptive marketing
Robert Gehrke, 4 October 2016

The company’s ads were brought to the division’s attention by the Connecticut-based watchdog group, Truth in Advertising, which received dozens of complaints from spurned consumers.
Laura Smith said alarms were sounded after the group heard a radio ad for O2PUR that sounded almost identical to the Vapex ads that had garnered the earlier complaints.

Marketing Your Brand With Influencers? Make Sure the FTC Hits the “Like” Button
Thomas Harvey, 22 September 2016

The FTC is not walking this enforcement road alone. For example, the consumer watchdog group Truth In Advertising recently investigated “Snapchat king” DJ Khaled (a hawker of everything from Dove soap to Ciroc vodka), and it filed a formal FTC complaint against five members of the Kardashian family, naming over 100 disclosure violations on behalf of brands including Calvin Klein, Revlon and Puma.

3 Lessons From The Kardashians On How Not To Do Influencer Marketing
Mia Dand, 15 September 2016

A Truth in Advertising investigation has “cataloged over 100 instances in which members of the Kardashian/Jenner family have created and published Instagram posts promoting various companies without clearly and conspicuously disclosing that they have a material connection with those companies or that the posts are ads, as is required by federal law.”
Paying influencers to promote your products is perfectly legal but what is illegal is not disclosing the paid relationship between the influencer and the brand.

Watch Out For Hidden Ads On Social Media
Benjamin Briscoe, 2 September 2016

The Kardashians responded to Truth in Advertising by updating several of their posts. And Truth and Advertising cautions a lot of celebs are having issues with social media ads. The group just focused on the Kardashians because the family has the largest social media following.

Watchdog pushes to make social media stars disclose ads
CBS This Morning, 31 August 2016

A consumer watchdog is urging the Federal Trade Commission to crack down on deceptive social media ads. Truth in Advertising says many social media stars fail to disclose when they are being paid to push products and services. Anna Werner reports on what the FTC is doing about it.

Endorsed on Instagram by a Kardashian, but Is It Love or Just an Ad?
Sapna Maheshwari, 30 August 2016

In the case of Ms. West and her sisters, Khloé and Kourtney Kardashian and Kylie and Kendall Jenner, TruthinAdvertising.org, a nonprofit that fights deceptive advertising, asserted that dozens of Instagram posts from the sisters violated guidelines from the F.T.C. that say it should be “clear and conspicuous” to consumers if a person endorsing a product “has been paid or given something of value.” However, while the agency suggests putting “#ad” or “#sponsored” at the start of those kinds of social media posts, or providing verbal disclosures in videos, there are no hard and fast rules.

Advocacy Group Files FTC Complaint Over Kardashians’ Instagram Ads
Katie Notopoulos, 25 August 2016

Last week, the nonprofit consumer advocacy group Truth in Advertising (TINA) sent a letter to the Kardashian/Jenner clan warning them about deceptive advertising on their social media.
Today, the organization officially filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, saying that Kim Kardashian West and her sisters had failed to comply with FTC disclosure standards for paid ads.

Kardashians clean up their Instagram act… kind of
Diana Falzone, 25 August 2016

Bonnie Patten, executive director of TruthinAdvertising.org, said the organization is happy with the edited posts, however she indicated there are posts on the sisters’ pages that have yet to be fixed.
“[Truth in Advertising] is happy to see they are taking steps in the right direction but this issue does not go away until all ads disguised as regular social media posts are clearly labeled as ads,” she told FOX411 in an email. “For far too long, the Kardashian/Jenner family and many of the companies endorsing them have been violating the law and it’s time that they are held accountable.”

Watchdog group says Kardashians don’t disclose ads on social media, violating FTC rules
Patrick Kulp, 23 August 2016

Truth in Advertising recently sent a letter to family manager Kris Jenner and dozens of associated brands alleging that five members of the reality show tribe have repeatedly failed to disclose instances in which Instagram posts were paid for by an advertiser – a violation of the Federal Trade Commission’s rules.

Kardashian family accused of ‘deceptive’ marketing over paid for Instagram endorsements
Rebecca Stewart, 23 August 2016

Since the note was published on TINA’s website Kim Kardashian West has published an Instagram post promoting Sugar Bear Hair, one of the brands cited by group as being in violation of the rules, and badged it with the hashtag #ad

Ad watchdog group says the Kardashians are being illegally paid for Instagram posts
Ashley Rodriguez, 23 August 2016

The group, Truth in Advertising, reviewed the Instagram accounts of Kim Kardashian West, Khloe Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, and Kendall Jenner and found more than 100 posts that “do not clearly or conspicuously disclose their relationships with the companies being promoted in the posts,” the group wrote in a letter sent to Kris Jenner last week.

The Kardashians slammed for not disclosing relationships to companies they hype on Instagram
Andrea Park, 22 August 2016

After a team of four examined more than 500 posts on each Instagram account of Kim, Khloé and Kourtney Kardashian as well as Kylie and Kendall Jenner, Truth in Advertising discovered that each of them has around 100 posts that “do not clearly or conspicuously disclose their relationships with the companies being promoted in the posts as is required by federal law,” according Bonnie Patten, executive director for Truth in Advertising. The organization has sent a legal letter to the Kardashian family.

Kardashians accused of posting deceptive marketing campaigns
Andrea Park, 22 August 2016

Truth in Advertising Inc. says it will alert the FTC by Wednesday if the social media stars do not fix their posts. A spokesperson for the organization told Page Six, ‘The law is clear and people are not following it, and it’s not being enforced very often.’

Kardashian Klan accused of ‘deceptive marketing’
Richard Johnson, 21 August 2016

A legal letter from Truth in Advertising Inc. was sent to Kris Jenner and her lawyer saying, “We have found that members of the Kardashian/Jenner family are engaged in deceptive marketing campaigns.” Jenner manages the careers of her children.
The watchdogs decided to pursue action after reviewing the Instagram accounts of Kim, Khloé and Kourtney Kardashian, plus Kylie and Kendall Jenner, “and found a plethora of posts that do not clearly or conspicuously disclose their relationships with the companies being promoted in the posts as is required by federal law.”

This lingerie company is using one of Victoria’s Secret’s own models to compete with the brand
Mallory Schlossberg, 2 August 2016

However, its subscription program has been subject to criticism from consumers who claim they were duped into getting a membership, find it difficult to cancel, and who lose their monthly “credits” upon canceling their subscriptions. (Members are charged on the 5th of the month should they fail to select if they want to “shop” or “skip.”) Ad watchdog firm Truth in Advertising has also filed formal complaints against the company.

Victoria’s Secret is ignoring a massive shift in the lingerie industry — and it could be costing them tons of money
Mallory Schlossberg, 23 July 2016

The company, which operates primarily on a subscription model, has not been without its struggles; it has been plagued by consumer complaints about its business model and formal complaints filed by advertising-watchdog firm Truth in Advertising.)

Group Says Walmart.com Misleading About Made In USA Products
Benjamin Briscoe, 22 July 2016

“When a store like Walmart deceptively markets a made in the USA products, they are taking advantage of our patriotic sensibilities and paying more for products they don’t want,” Truth in Advertising Executive Director Bonnie Patten.

This Could Be the Last Pokémon Story You Read If…
Benjamin Briscoe, 15 July 2016

Makes you wonder if the whole Pokémon Go is some big ad designed to lure us into spending money. Nope. Not yet at least, according to Truth in Advertising. They called and checked with a bunch of companies where Pokémon are. None of the stores bought ads.

Group tracking 61 federal class actions over alleged fictitious pricing
Carrie Salls, 12 July 2016

Fictitious pricing lawsuits, like the one filed recently against Harbor Freight Tools USA by a class of customers “appear to be trending,” according to TruthinAdvertising.org executive director Bonnie Patten.

List prices be damned: Amazon reportedly showing only one price for products
Williams Pelegrin, 11 July 2016

“We’ve been conditioned to buy only when things are on sale,” said Truth In Advertising executive director Bonnie Patten. “As a result, what many retailers have done is make sure everything is always on sale. Which means nothing is on sale.” As Patten mentioned, the problem with constantly putting products on sale is that customers cannot tell if something is a good deal when everything is on sale.

Wine Point Labels Can Be Misleading
Benjamin Briscoe, 6 July 2016

Again and again we spotted the problem tags. Across four grocery stores all across town. And the group Truth In Advertising noticed too. “It’s incredibly deceptive. And it’s upsetting. And it could lead to you getting ripped off,” said TINA Executive Director Bonnie Patten.

Is Amazon Removing List Prices From Product Pages?
Ashlee Kieler, 6 July 2016

“We’ve been conditioned to buy only when things are on sale,” said Bonnie Patten, executive director of TruthInAdvertising.org, a consumer information site. “As a result, what many retailers have done is make sure everything is always on sale. Which means nothing is ever on sale.”

Amazon Is Quietly Eliminating List Prices
David Streitfeld, 3 July 2016

“We’ve been conditioned to buy only when things are on sale,” said Bonnie Patten, executive director of TruthInAdvertising.org, a consumer information site. “As a result, what many retailers have done is make sure everything is always on sale. Which means nothing is ever on sale.”

Unpatriotic PR: A Year After Pledging to Rectify Issues, Is Walmart Still Guilty of Deceptive “Made in USA” Claims?
29 June 2016

Despite assurances Walmart made to the FTC last fall that it had scrubbed all false and deceptive “Made in the USA” claims on its website and put in place procedures to flag any future misrepresentations—assurances that helped close out an FTC inquiry-the retail giant’s website is still replete with false and deceptive U.S.-origin claims, the firm asserts.

Walmart Is Still Making Bogus Made In USA Claims Says Ad Watchdog
Lucinda Shen, 29 June 2016

The Federal Trade Commission initiated a probe into the retailer last year, after Truth in Advertising said Walmart had mislabelled over a hundred products as “Made in the U.S.A.” Walmart dodged government action then by taking voluntary steps to “prevent consumer deception,” the FTC said in a letter. That included clearing its website of the logos, and making more detailed disclosures about what percent of the product was made in the states.

Walmart’s “Made in the USA” claims take another hit
Jonathan Berr, 29 June 2016

If a product is labeled “Made in the USA,” it means what it says, right? When it comes to some products Walmart (WMT) sells with that label, an advertising watchdog group says it ain’t so. Truth in Advertising.org (TINA) alleges that it found more than 100 products on Walmart.com that were erroneously labeled as “Made in the USA,” saying they were either partially or completely produced overseas.

Are Wal-Mart’s Made-in-the-USA Products Really Made Here?
Daniel Kline, 29 June 2016

Wal-Mart is not saying that it has never inadvertently misused the “Made in the USA” claim nor is it saying that it’s not possible that products on its website are misusing it now. TINA.org wants the FTC to investigate and the agency should, since it has a very clear definition for what made in the USA means.

Wal-Mart OKs 800 items for website
Robbie Neiswanger, 29 June 2016

But its “Made in the U.S.” claims have been criticized by groups like Truth in Advertising, which said Tuesday that it compiled a sampling of more than 100 “Made in the U.S.” misrepresentations that show the retailer “continues to deceive consumers.”
The group said it sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission saying that “intervention is needed.”

Walmart’s Made In The USA Claim: Fact Or Fiction?
Laura Heller, 28 June 2016

Last year, Walmart scrubbed the “Made in the USA” labeling from its website following allegations from the nonprofit group Truth in Advertising that found more than 100 examples of items that did not adhere to that label’s requirements. To claim “Made in the USA,” all of the components must be manufactured and assembled in the United States.

Walmart Still Reportedly Misusing “Made In U.S.A” Labels
Ashlee Kieler, 28 June 2016

In a letter sent to the FTC on Tuesday, TINA accuses Walmart of making hollow assurances that it would no longer misuse “Made in the U.S.A.” labels in order to end the regulator’s probe last year.

Watchdog group calls out Wal-Mart for ‘deceptive’ Made in USA claims
Kelsey Lindsey, 28 June 2016

Wal-Mart has been in the spotlight for “Made in USA” labels on its website before, in a similar investigation from TINA in June and July last year. The retailer cooperated with the FTC then, after which the agency dropped its probe.

Second amended complaint filed against Heinz over ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ label
Dawn Geske, 28 June 2016

“Only California has a state law that specifically regulates the standard for a Made in the U.S.A. designation,” Bonnie Patten, executive director at Truth In Advertising Inc. (TINA.org), told Legal Newsline.

Group fighting false advertising wants example made of Carter’s
Sean Fowler, 10 June 2016

“Fictitious pricing exploits consumers’ desire to obtain a bargain, and means that consumers may pay more for a good or service than if they had continued searching for the lowest price,” Bonnie Patten, the Executive Director of TruthInAdvertising.org (TINA.org), told Legal Newsline.

JustFab looks to shake bad press, angry customers
Daphne Howland, 1 June 2016

Last year, the retailer settled a consumer protection lawsuit in California for $1.8 million, and has been the target of consumer advocacy groups such as Truth in Advertising.

MyPillow’s fortunes soar, but not with complaints
Jordan Graham, 29 May 2016

“While MyPillow is doing the right thing by taking down these unproven health claims, they never should have been there in the first place,” said Truth in Advertising executive director Bonnie Patten in a statement.

Wine for sale may not match ratings, group warns
Howard French, 25 May 2016

In a review of 30 stores, all in the southern portion of the state, Truth in Advertising, or TINA.org, found that 26 of the stores posted inaccurate ratings and reviews with wine for sale. In some cases, the wines on the shelf weren’t the year or variety cited in the reviews, TINA.org Executive Director Bonnie Patten said in a news release.

In vino veritas? Not always
Laraine Weschler, 25 May 2016

In many instances, the information is inaccurate at best and deceptive at worst,” said Executive Director Bonnie Patten. “We think of this as the classic bait and switch.

Connecticut liquor stores accused of deceptive ratings displays
Katie Corrado, 25 May 2016

An investigation from Madison-based watchdog group Truth in Advertising concluded that many Connecticut liquor stores are displaying ratings cards that do not match with the bottles actually being sold. The group visited almost 30 liquor stores along the shoreline and found nearly 90 percent of display ratings do not correspond with the bottles or vintages on the shelves.

Investigation Finds Mislabeled Wine in Several CT Liquor Stores
Christiane Cordero, 24 May 2016

They bait you with a vintage and a rating that’s very good, and then they switch it for a different bottle and a different vintage, which can dramatically affect the rating,” said TINA’s Executive Director Bonnie Patten.

Wines being sold with misleading ratings
24 May 2016

Madison-based Truth in Advertising (TINA.org) said most liquor stores selling wine, including independent neighborhood stores and major chains, displayed wine ratings for bottles or vintages other than those for sale.

Wine-store signs often deceptive, group says
Lee Howard, 23 May 2016

The deceptive signage found in the sampling of stores may be indicative of a widespread issue,” said Bonnie Patten, executive director of TINA, in a statement. “Liquor stores need to review their in-store marketing practices to make sure that shoppers are getting accurate information about the actual wine bottles on their shelves.

Go Paks suit latest in consumer pushback over packaging
Jamie Kelly, 23 May 2016

We have seen great number of cases being brought in regard to non-functional slack-fill,” Bonnie Patten, executive director of truthinadvertising.org, recently told Legal Newsline. “I think there were 34 cases in 2015, and it looks like 2016 is on track to have similar number of cases. It’s definitely a hot item for class actions at the moment.

GSA Issues Notice Concerning Trade Agreements Act and “Made in America” Compliance
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, 19 May 2016

In addition, TruthInAdvertising.Org (TINA.org) has been involved in ongoing communications with GSA regarding the accuracy of representations on the GSA Advantage website.

Customer disdain for this ‘innovative and disruptive’ business model is only growing
Mallory Schlossberg, 15 May 2016

I think what really focused us on Adore Me was one particular provision in their terms and conditions which I found to be absolutely outrageous,” Bonnie Patten, Truth in Advertising’s executive director, told Business Insider on Monday, “which was that when a consumer attempts to cancel this membership, that the company takes any unused credit from the consumer.

Is Adore Me being transparent enough on price?
Teresa Novellino, 10 May 2016

The Truth in Advertising Campaign wrote a letter late last month to company CEO and founder Morgan Hermand-Waiche, asking that the company address complaints that its investigation revealed involving membership fees. It claims that the company draws shoppers in via TV and social media ads with introductory offers for a $24.95 bra and panty set, but doesn’t make it clear on its website that the introductory discounted offer hinges on signing up for VIP membership, which costs $39.95 per month.

This lingerie startup isn’t so cute anymore
Lisa Fickenscher, 9 May 2016

The company dangles lower prices for bra-and-panty sets for $24.95 without clearly saying that shoppers only get that price only if they sign up for a VIP membership, which costs $39.95 a month, according to Truth in Advertising (TINA).

A hot lingerie startup is drawing more fire for shady billing practices
Mallory Schlossberg, 9 May 2016

Now, nonprofit advertising-watchdog Truth In Advertising has filed complaints with the Federal Trade Commission, the New York Attorney General’s office, and the District Attorney’s office in Santa Clara, California, claiming the company utilizes misleading marketing practices to trap consumers into subscription billing cycles.

Herbalife’s Endgame
Michelle Celarier, 9 May 2016

Writing in support of a pyramid law for the blog of consumer group Truth in Advertising, Vander Nat said the first thing such a law would make clear, is that, ‘In an MLM context, an organization is a pyramid scheme if it rewards participants primarily for recruitment, while the firm’s product is incidental to the proposed business opportunity…

The Future of Shopping: Trapping You in a Club You Didn’t Know You Joined
Rebecca Greenfield and Kim Bhasin, 28 April 2016

“They present consumers with this incredible offer and they don’t simultaneously inform them of all the downsides,” says Bonnie Patten, executive director of Truth in Advertising, a consumer-rights watchdog.

Some Online Bargains May Only Look Like One
David Streitfeld, 13 April 2016

Ask any consumer: ‘Would you like to be manipulated into purchasing anything you would not otherwise buy?'” said Bonnie Patten, executive director of TruthinAdvertising.org. “My guess is the answer would be no.

Op-ed: Multi-level marketers need to stop disease-treatment claims
Bonnie Patten, 22 March 2016

When it comes to health claims involving diseases and disorders, the law is clear. It’s time that those selling supplements within the MLM industry take heed and put an end to such “cure-all” claims.

MyPillow fight with watchdog
C.J., 14 March 2016

He was saying using MyPillow could help with insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome,” said TINA’s communication director Shana Mueller, “and he had customer testimonials on his website that talked about MyPillow alleviating the symptoms of anxiety, migraines, acid reflux, menopause, cerebral palsy and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Walmart’s Made-In-USA shell game
Todd Oppenheimer, 11 March 2016

On July 14, 2015, Patten wrote an eight-page letter to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (the agency charged with the nation’s consumer protection) complaining that Walmart was deceiving its customers. “Walmart.com is replete with false and deceptive advertising,” her letter stated.

Get Gephardt: Utah consumers kept in the dark
Cindy St. Clair and Matt Gephardt, 2 March 2016

Bonnie Patten, executive director of Truth in Advertising, takes credit for the softening of the law saying her group has been battling Utah for records for several years.
Still, she does not believe Bramble’s bill goes nearly far enough and that Utah lags far behind other states.
“The vast majority of states will provide consumers with the complaints that their departments receive,” she said.

My Pillow Faulted for False Health Claims
Mary H.J. Farrell, 24 February 2016

While My Pillow is doing the right thing by taking down these unsubstantiated health claims, they never should have been there in the first place,” said Bonnie Patten, executive director of TINA.org. “I’m certain that there were consumers who relied on these deceptive marketing claims in making their purchases.

Targeting fraud: Complaints against hard-sell Utah coaching firms made public
Matt Canham, 17 January 2016

But Truth in Advertising, a national watchdog group, argues Utah’s first foray into releasing consumer complaints is too timid and the mechanics of the law too cumbersome to be of real benefit to consumers.

This unique business model is taking over retail –
and customers are saying they hate it

Mallory Schlossberg, 17 January 2016

Still, some experts think that JustFab uses this model to optimize success, even if it’s misleading. “It’s a model that allows [JustFab] to make more money . . . Unfortunately, misleading marketing works. And that’s what this company is, in some part, using to be so successful,” Bonnie Patten, executive director of Truth in Advertising, said to Bloomberg.

Truth In Advertising: Who You Gonna Call?
George Simpson, 14 January 2016

Finally, you might want to drop in on Truth in Advertising, Inc., a nonprofit whose mission is ‘to be the go-to online resource dedicated to empowering consumers to protect themselves and one another against false advertising and deceptive marketing.’

Big Scam on Campus
Jimmy Magahern, January 2016

Bonnie Patten, head of the nonprofit advertising watchdog organization Truth in Advertising (TINA.org), whose website has been closely analyzing Vemma’s claims and business structure since 2013, says what Vemma’s being required to do is simply act like the regular business Boreyko keeps insisting it is.

The Importance of Being Honest: Lessons learned from the JustFab disaster
7 December 2015

Bonnie Patten, executive director of Truth in Advertising, told Bloomberg Business that JustFab tactics are shady. “It’s a model that allows [JustFab] to make more money,” said Patten. “Unfortunately, misleading marketing works. And that’s what this company is, in some part, using to be so successful.”

Chicago Pols Push Controversial Sales Programs
Brett Chase, 6 December 2015

‘You are not permitted to make people think you are going to be rich with a company if the fact of the matter is 85 percent or more of people involved will not be successful,’ said Bonnie Patten, executive director of advocacy organization Truth In Advertising.

How This Company—and Mike Huckabee—Cashed In by Scaring Conservatives
Tim Murphy, November/December 2015

Last year, after an investigation by the nonprofit watchdog Truth in Advertising, Stansberry removed hundreds of customer testimonials from his company’s website and promotional materials.

Walmart Website Removes “Made in USA” Logos Amid Investigation
Dave Schatz, 5 November 2015

Walmart’s “Made in USA” claims were called out over the summer by a watchdog group known as Truth in Advertising (TINA) after it found hundreds of mislabeled products. . .The fact that the watchdog group published its findings was enough to kick off the FTC probe.

JustFab reviewing practices after accusations of deceptive tactics
Barbara Thau, 2 November 2015

Last year, the retailer settled a consumer protection lawsuit in California for $1.8 million, and has been the target of consumer advocacy groups such as Truth in Advertising.

JustFab Is Reviewing Customer Service Practices as Complaints Pile Up
Kim Bhasin, 30 October 2015

Bonnie Patten, executive director of Truth in Advertising, a consumer protection nonprofit, says the number of complaints to the BBB and FTC shows that ‘articulate, reasonable people are being duped.’
‘It’s a model that allows [JustFab] to make more money,’ said Patten. ‘Unfortunately, misleading marketing works. And that’s what this company is, in some part, using to be so successful.’

Kate Hudson’s controversial athletic clothing company is considering making a major change to it policies
Mallory Schlossberg, 30 October 2015

Some experts think JustFab’s model is successful, albeit misleading.
‘It’s a model that allows [JustFab] to make more money. . .Unfortunately, misleading marketing works. And that’s what this company is, in some part, using to be so successful,’ Bonnie Patten, executive director of Truth in Advertising, said to Bloomberg.

Walmart’s Christmas plan: Deep discounts, but you’ll pay for shipping
Lisa Fickenscher, 29 October 2015

Consumer advocacy group TINA.org forced Walmart to back away from Made in USA labels online after it was the subject of an FTC probe into deceptive advertising.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc sheds “Made in USA” logo From Its Website
Camilla Pritchard, 24 October 2015

In June, Walmart’s made in USA logo claims were brought under enquiry after the watchdog Truth in Advertising exposed hundreds of international products that were sold on retailer’s website.

Walmart drops Made in USA labels after deceptive advertising probe
23 October 2015

Walmart’s Made in USA claims were called into question after Truth in Advertising discovered hundreds of products on the website were actually made elsewhere.

Walmart Busted for ‘Made in USA’
Corey Olson, 22 October 2015

The inquiry stems from a report from the watchdog group Truth in Advertising that found more than 100 items on Walmart’s web site that misled consumers with the “Made in the USA” logo.

Those ‘Made in the USA’ Products May Not Be as Patriotic as They Seem
Kara Pendleton, 21 October 2015

The watchdog group Truth in Advertising found 100 instances of mislabeled products in June and raised them with the company. They found another 100 in July and took the information to the FTC, said legal director Laura Smith.

Walmart forced to remove ‘Made in the USA’ logos
Walter Einenkel, 21 October 2015

This summer, watchdog group Truth in Advertising said it found more than 100 examples of items labeled with a “Made in the U.S.A.” logo on Walmart’s web site that misled consumers.

Walmart suddenly removed ‘Made in USA’ labels from its website
Hayley Peterson, 21 October 2015

Walmart’s “Made in USA” claims were called into question this summer after the watchdog group Truth in Advertising discovered hundreds of products that were mislabeled.

Anti-aging company Jeunesse Global falls under suspicion
Deanna Utroske, 21 October 2015

Since TINA did not see swift change in the Jeunesse marketing messages after contacting the company last month, it filed a formal complaint this week with the Federal Trade Commission.

Regulators Drop Probe Into Walmart’s “Made In The U.S.A.” Labeling After Designation Dropped From Website
Ashlee Kieler, 21 October 2015

Walmart’s “Made in the U.S.A.” woes began back in June when the group Truth In Advertising claimed the company’s website had more than 100 examples of products incorrectly marketed as made in America.

Walmart Removes ‘Made In The USA’ Logos From Website After Government Investigation
Abigail Abrams, 21 October 2015

However, the watchdog nonprofit Truth in Advertising issued a report in June saying it found more than 100 items that misled consumers by with false “Made in the U.S.A.” labels. Some of these items were not actually made in the United States while in other cases, the group said it was not clear what the labels indicated.

Walmart removes “Made in USA” logos from website after government inquiry
Phil Wahba, 20 October 2015

This summer, watchdog group Truth in Advertising said it found more than 100 examples of items labeled with a “Made in the U.S.A.” logo on Walmart’s web site that misled consumers.

Wal-Mart is betting big on ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ So why was the label scrubbed from its Web site?
Andrea Peterson, 20 October 2015

In a report issued over the summer, the nonprofit Truth in Advertising said it found more than 100 examples of items labeled with a “Made in the U.S.A.” logo on the retailer’s Web site that misled consumers. Some items on the Web site that claimed to be made in America actually weren’t, the group said, or Wal-Mart didn’t clearly indicate what the label actually meant.

U.S. ends probe of Wal-Mart on ‘Made in USA’ logo
Diane Bartz, 20 October 2015

The watchdog group Truth in Advertising found 100 instances of mislabeled products in June and raised them with the company. They found another 100 in July and took the information to the FTC, said legal director Laura Smith. ‘In light of the company’s steps to address the issues, we’re not surprised that the investigation has been closed,’ said Smith.

Health groups urge FDA to investigate e-cig therapeutic claims
Lydia Wheeler, 19 October 2015

The groups said Truth in Advertising (TINA) reviewed more than 150 manufacturer and seller websites and found claims that e-cigarettes helped smokers stop smoking.

Tempe-Based Vemma Scammed ASU Students with Pyramid Scheme, FTC Says
Shanna Hogan, 29 September 2015

The main difference between an MLM and a pyramid scheme is all about recruitment,” Patten says. “In a pyramid scheme, the primary purpose is recruitment. In a legitimate MLM, the primary purpose is to sell goods or service to ultimate users.

Vemma CEO confident after Tempe company’s court hearing on pyramid scheme allegations
Devin Conley, 16 September 2015

The FTC has an incredible record in these kind of hearings,” said Bonnie Patten, executive director of Truth in Advertising after giving testimony. “They’re basically 17-0 when it comes to getting a preliminary injunction after a (temporary restraining order). But you know, it’s a really hard decision the judge has to make.

Can Americans collect ‘Canadian Social Security’?
Tom Anderson, 15 September 2015

Deceptive advertising is a moneymaker,” Patten said. “Most companies that engage in it see it as a cost of doing business.

How energy drink firm ended up in feds’ sights
Amber Hunt, 2 September 2015

That message caught the attention of parents – and the media. Truth in Advertising, a nonprofit consumer protection agency in Connecticut, began posting stories and gathering evidence that later would help the FTC in its case.

Valley energy drink company temporarily shut down for operating a pyramid scheme
Morgan Loew, 26 August 2015

Pyramid schemes victimize the vast majority of people that join them, so it’s always a positive thing when one’s shut down.” (Bonnie Patten, TINA.org Executive Director)

FTC Affirms Filing Complaint Against MLM Company Vemma Nutrition
26 August 2015

The FTC appreciates the assistance of the Attorney General Offices of Arizona, South Carolina, and Michigan, the Tempe Police Department, and the nonprofit organization Truth in Advertising in bringing this case.

Federal Trade Commission Calls Vemma A Pyramid Scheme That Preys On Young Adults
Antoine Gara, 26 August 2015

The vast majority of Affiliates make no money,” the FTC said of its Vemma investigation, which was aided by attorneys general in Arizona, South Carolina and Michigan, and the non-profit Truth In Advertising.

FTC targets company after Enquirer investigation
Amber Hunt, 25 August 2015

The Connecticut-based consumer advocacy group Truth in Advertising has highlighted Vemma in multiple posts since 2013. . .”After two years of TINA.org investigating Vemma, I am not at all surprised that the FTC is bringing a legal action against the company given its business structure and continual violations of the 1999 FTC consent order that precluded Vemma from making health claims,” Bonnie Patten, the group’s executive director, told The Enquirer in an email Tuesday.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) Warns Suppliers about Lying to Buyers
Andrew Moran, 30 July 2015

In June, Truthinadvertising.org (TINA.org), an advertising watchdog group, discovered hundreds of products on the Wal-Mart website labeled “Made in the USA” when they were “Made in China.” Also, many supposed “Made in the USA” products contained foreign elements.

Senator Urges ‘Made in U.S.A’ Investigation After Troubleshooters Investigation
28 July 2015

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy is calling on the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to investigate fraudulent or misleading claims companies make about products being “Made in the U.S.A.” and said it follows an NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters investigation. The Troubleshooters’ story cites Truth in Advertising, which found 200 total examples of Walmart mislabeling foreign-made products as American-made, including disposable spoons, children’s toys, and cosmetic sponges.

What “Made in the USA” Really Means
Christiane Cordero, 23 July 2015

Take, for example, Walmart. “We found a multitude of errors on their website,” said Patten. Truth in Advertising found 200 total examples at Walmart, ranging from disposable spoons, to children’s toys, to cosmetic sponges. In each example, the retailer mislabeled foreign-made products as American-made.

What does “Made in USA” label really mean?
Amy Davis, 9 July 2015

Bonnie Patten, the executive director of the non-profit group Truth in Advertising, says there’s only one problem. “The vast majority of their products would not meet the legal definition for a “Made in the U.S.” product,” she explained. The group challenged Almay’s ad, filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. Just last week, Almay changed the slogan from “Simply American” to “The American Look.

Watchdog calls Walmart out over ‘Made in USA’ claims
8 July 2015

US retailer Walmart has come under fire from watchdog Truth in Advertising (TINA.org) over some of its ‘Made in the USA’ claims and labels. The non-profit consumer advocacy organisation wrote a letter to Walmart on 22 June stating that an investigation TINA.org had carried out into walmart.com revealed that more than 100 products sold on the website used “false and/or deceptive” Made in the USA and Assembled in the USA representations.

800 to pitch products to Wal-Mart
Chris Bahn, 7 July 2015

Wal-Mart estimates that two-thirds of the products on its shelves are currently made, sourced or grown in the U.S. In an internal magazine distributed to employees, the retailer boasted more than 22,000 U.S.-made products available online, although that number recently came into question after an investigation by watchdog group Truth In Advertising.

Sign Wave
6 July 2015

Shortly before the issuance of this memo, the group Truth in Advertising (TINA) announced they had put WalMart on notice that many items advertised on the company’s web site as “Made in the USA” were actually manufactured in China.

Almay Redesigns Slogan After Pressure by TINA.org
6 July 2015

Revlon has made dramatic changes to its marketing campaign for its Almay brand. This comes after pressure by TINA.org – Truth In Advertising, a non-profit. A deceptive advertising complaint was filed by ad watchdog about the brand’s former slogan, “Almay Simply American.

7 Key Facts to Keep in Mind about Walmart’s ‘U.S. Manufacturing Summit’
Kevin Rudiger, 2 July 2015

Just this week, the nonprofit Truth in Advertising released a report that found more than 100 instances “of false and deceptive made in the USA representations” on Walmart’s website.

Investigation Finds Many of Walmart’s Made in the USA Products Come from China
Jihan Forbes, 2 July 2015

Truth in Advertising found over 100 items on the Walmart website labeled as “Made in the USA” were made overseas – and it wasn’t too difficult to unearth Walmart’s missteps. The organization said that many of these American-made pieces were made in China – and the proof was all right there on the packaging

Can You Trust Wal-Mart’s ‘Made in USA’ Product Claims?
Krystal Steinmetz, 1 July 2015

Advertising watchdog group Truth in Advertising alleges that Wal-Mart mislabeled more than 100 items as “Made in the USA” on its website, when the products were actually made in China or other countries. Other products claiming U.S. origin only contained a percentage of USA-made components, or were assembled – not made – in the United States according to TINA.

How accurate are Walmart’s “Made in the USA” labels?
Aimee Picchi, 30 June 2015

(Bonnie) Patten added in an email to CBS MoneyWatch: “It is disingenuous for Walmart to attempt to deflect blame by saying that it simply jumped the gun on placing Made in the USA labels on certain products that were transferring operations to the U.S. Our investigation revealed dozens of examples where Walmart simply got it wrong and in so doing violated the federal law on Made in USA labeling.

Wal-Mart works to correct ‘Made In USA’ label problem
Kim Souza, 30 June 2015

Bonnie Pattern, executive director for TINA.org (Truth in Advertising), told The City Wire that when the organization first reached out to Wal-Mart on June 22 the company’s initial response was to blame manufacturers. “Then they said it was a coding error and a small glitch in their system which they are working to correct,” Pattern said. “Now we see Walmart.com starting to make some changes in their website. Some of the mislabels we identified have been taken down. Wal-Mart should have better quality control and in this case it was sorely lacking.

Walmart.com’s ‘Made in the USA’ claims lead to fireworks
Tracy Maple, 30 June 2015

Just in time for the Fourth of July and all things USA, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., is getting hammered by an advertising watchdog, truthinadvertising.org (TINA.org), for how it labels items “Made in the USA.

Walmart Lying About “Made In The USA” Products?
30 June 2015

According to a letter from Truth in Advertising, Inc. or TINA.org last week to Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, the nonprofit consumer advocacy organization said an investigation of www.walmart.com has revealed that it is marketing products through the use of false and/or deceptive labels.

Wal-Mart Labels Some Foreign-Made Products as Made in the USA
Paul Ausick, 30 June 2015

Americans prefer to buy American-made products, according to Truth in Advertising, and are willing to pay a premium of as much as 60% for goods made in the USA. The group found that some product packaging identifies goods as “Made in China” but the website carries a badge claiming that the product is made in the USA.

Report Finds 100+ Walmart.com Products Labeled “Made In U.S.A.” That Were Made Elsewhere
Chris Morran, 29 June 2015

According to a letter recently sent by the group Truth In Advertising to Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, “Walmart’s website is mired in USA labeling errors.” Among the items singled out in the letter are Walmart’s Equate store-brand makeup sponges in the image at the top of this story. TINA says these were given the Made in the U.S.A. label on Walmart.com even though the product’s own packaging clearly states that they were “Made in China.

Just in time for July 4th, Walmart’s caught in an un-American lie
Lisa Fickenscher, 29 June 2015

Truth in Advertising, a nonprofit that investigates deceptive marketing practices, fired off a letter to Walmart last week claiming that it found 100 items on the retailer’s website – including a dental whitening product, baby wipes and mattress pads – that were made outside of this country but carried nifty Made in the USA labels.

Group Slams Walmart Over ‘Made in USA’ Claims
Neal Colgrass, 29 June 2015

An advertising watchdog group warns you to beware of patriotic “Made in the USA” labels on some Walmart products, saying the company uses them far too liberally. The group Truth In Advertising sent Walmart CEO Doug McMillon a letter last week saying that “Walmart’s website is mired in USA labeling errors,” and ran down a few examples.

Walmart busted: 100+ products labeled “Made in the USA” are actually imported
Ellen Vessels, 29 June 2015

According to a report recently released by the advertising watchdog group, Truth in Advertising, over 100 products labeled on Walmart’s website as “Made in the USA” are, in fact, imported from other countries.

Some Almay ‘Simply American’ makeup ‘Made in China’
Heesun Wee, 4 June 2015

The problem is that “Simply American” suggests Almay’s beauty products are made domestically, said Bonnie Patten, executive director of Truth in Advertising.org, a nonprofit organization. While some products, including makeup remover, are American made, other products are made in China, the Czech Republic, Germany and Canada. Truth In Advertising.org has filed separate complaints about what they describe as false claims with the Federal Trade Commission and New York Attorney General’s Office.

Sometimes political fact-checking works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Here’s what can make the difference.
Michelle Amazeen, 3 June 2015

It’s worth pointing out that the journalistic enterprise of fact-checking is spreading beyond politics. Fact-checkers are now evaluating science-based claims and consumer product and service claims. Future research is needed to measure the success of non-political fact-checkers, such as TruthInAdvertising.org, at deterring the spread of other forms of misinformation – like claims that a product was “Made in America” when it was not.

Pom Wonderful’s Deceptive Ads: Lessons for Consumers and Investors
Andrés Cardenal, 23 may 2015

Coca-Cola agreed to pay $1.2 million to end a class action lawsuit last year, but nonprofit organization Truth In Advertising is calling on consumers to contest that settlement.
While Coca-Cola claims it never specifically promoted the health benefits of those products, many people argue that the name Vitaminwater sounds rather self-explanatory. The company labels Vitaminwater as a “nutrient-enhanced water beverage,” with names for the various flavors including “Defense,” “Revive,” and “Endurance.

Almay’s ‘Simply American’ campaign not so American
Lisa Fickenscher, 22 May 2015

There is no question that the marketing campaign is implying that their products are made in the USA,” said the group’s legal director, Laura Smith, who said she spent several months analyzing the labels and packaging of all 47 Almay products listed on its Web site.

Revlon’s Almay Accused of Covering Up the Truth on Made in America
Mark J. Miller, 21 may 2015

Almay’s implied, unqualified claim that its cosmetics are made in the USA is false advertising,” stated TINA Executive Director Bonnie Patten, in a press release. “Its marketing is unfair to consumers and to companies whose products really are 100 percent made in the US.

Ad Watchdog Hits Almay for ‘Simply American’ Campaign
Greg Hazley, 20 may 2015

A splashy “Simply American” campaign from Revlon’s Almay cosmetics line has come under fire from ad watchdog Truth in Advertising, which says the push is deceptive about its products’ origins.
Bonnie Patten, executive director of the Madison, Conn.-based group, said Almay’s “implied, unqualified claim that its cosmetics are made in the USA is false advertising,” alleging it violates FTC “Made in the USA” guidelines.

Parents complain: Drink company turning kids away from college
Morgan Loew, 20 May 2015

It’s when you have a company where recruitment lines people’s pockets that you’re dealing with a pyramid scheme,” said Bonnie Patten, the executive director of the consumer advocacy group, Truth in Advertising.
Patten’s organization has received dozens of complaints about Vemma and conducted its own investigation into the company’s claims and practices.

Advertising watch group goes after Almay
Deanna Utroske, 20 May 2015

The brand’s star spangled #SimplyAmerican campaign motivated TruthinAdvertising.org to file a deceptive advertising complaint with federal and state authorities.

Bob’s Finds Some Unwanted Interest
Mitchell Young, May 2015

Bob’s Discount Furniture may sell some nice lounge chairs, but they’ve found themselves in the hot seat by Truthinadvertising.org (TINA.org, based in Madison, CT.)

Truth in Advertising: beware of ‘interest free’ financing
Frank Juliano, 14 March 2015

A Madison-based consumer watchdog group has gotten one of the state’s largest furniture retailers to revise its marketing of “interest free” financing.
TruthinAdvertising.org complained last fall to the state Department of Consumer Protection and to Attorney General George Jepsen that customers of Bob’s Discount Furniture weren’t adequately informed of the program’s requirements.

Madison company challenges Vitaminwater over labeling
Katie Corrado, 16 March 2015

Patten said the product’s label is misleading, touting its vitamin content and downplaying the roughly 30 grams of sugar in every bottle. “If they wanted to be honest with us and not deceive us in the labeling, they would have to call this ‘Sugarwater,'” said Patten.

Gas Company’s ‘Burn Money’ Ad Featured Oil Price. . .From Last Summer
Aaron Hastings, 29 January 2015

Consumers expect that if an ad is shown to them today that it’s honest and truthful, as of today,” said Bonnie Patton, executive director of Truth in Advertising, a consumer advocacy group in Madison. “The line is pretty clear: If it’s deceptive when its shown, it crosses the line.

Utah provides haven for companies avoiding consumer complaints
Aaron Hastings, 22 January 2015

A national consumer advocacy group is praising potential legislation that would open consumer complaint records to the public. Fran Silverman, editor of Truth in Advertising’s website, TINA.org., said she supports a bill. The group fought to gain access to consumer complaints against Utah companies such as a small marketing firm and an e-cigarette producer. “We want to empower consumers and protect them,” Silverman said.

Warning: The Article You’re About to Read Might Make You Laugh
Shirley S. Wang, 22 January 2015

Bonnie Patten, executive director of consumer advocacy group TruthInAdvertising.org, said many corporate lawyers tell clients to use disclaimers, and at times they can provide a legal defense, but other times they’re “worthless or worse than worthless.

Company Agrees to FTC Demand to Stop Making Claims on Supplements Aimed at Kids with Speech Disorders
Hank Schultz, 12 January 2015

NourishLife’s outsized claims on the effect its products allegedly had on children suffering from apraxia and autism who had delayed speech first came to light almost two years ago in the form of a March 2013 letter by consumer advocacy group Truth in Advertising (TINA) sent about NourishLife’s marketing of Speak to the company, the Attorney General of Illinois (where NourishLife is based), the Federal Trade Commission, and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after a months-long investigation of the company revealed a number of allegedly deceptive marketing claims such as claims that the product showed results in “as little as one week.

Lawmaker Explores Making Utah Consumer Complaints Public
Dan Harrie, 6 January 2015

Truth in Advertising believes full and quick disclosure of all consumer complaints is the best way to protect people from rip-offs and schemes.

Mike Huckabee Sold Out His Fans To A Quack Doctor, Conspiracy Theorists, And Financial Fraudsters
Eric Hananoki, 3 January 2015

Truth in Advertising, a nonprofit organization “against false advertising and deceptive marketing,” criticized Stansberry’s “misleading” silver scheme, writing: “Several testimonials used to promote one of two retirement newsletters published by Stansberry – Retirement Millionaire – claimed that the newsletter gave them the secret to obtaining ‘free’ silver from U.S. banks. However, TINA.org learned that the silver was not free at all; consumers had to exchange their paper dollars for half dollars that contain silver – and those were ones only minted before 1971.” The group also criticized the firm for customer testimony that “omitted vital information” and “contained blatant lies.

Editorial: ‘Vaping’ case exposes Utah consumer division weakness
15 December 2014

And the only reason we know that is because an advocacy group called Truth in Advertising submitted a records request to the division, and then won a battle before the State Records Committee. Those records showed the drastically reduced settlement figures, but they did not explain why the fines were so drastically reduced.

Utah quietly slashes fines from $1.1M to $31K for online e-cigarette marketers
Dan Harrie, 11 December 2014

Truth in Advertising has called the division’s secrecy about complaints contrary to the interests of consumers it is charged with protecting, as well as out of line with the Federal Trade Commission and other states.

State probing Bob’s Furniture offers
Lee Howard, 3 December 2014

TINA charged that consumers were “being set up to fail” and that “hidden interest charges” were being tacked onto bills. It called on state officials to take action against Bob’s “deceptive practices,” saying its own investigation came after a reader contacted TINA to document his experiences – a complaint subsequently corroborated by several others.

Bob’s Discount Furniture accused of deceptive ‘interest-free’ financing
Luther Turmelle, 3 December 2014

Truthinadvertising.org contends Bob’s Discount Furniture is deceptive in its advertising because it fails to make clear that if customers don’t pay off their entire balance in time, the retailer will charge consumers 27.99 percent interest accrued back to the original date of purchase. The organization claims Bob’s Discount Furniture doesn’t adequately disclose that consumers need to pay more than the minimum amount appearing on their monthly statements in order to pay off the balance in full within the required time period and avoid interest charges.

Editorial: Utah should open the records on business enforcement
17 November 2014

The matter was raised by a national nonprofit consumer watchdog called Truth in Advertising. It uses public records, from the Federal Trade Commission and similar state agencies, to delve into allegations of consumer fraud and hold both private companies and government agencies accountable. Its attorneys say the kind of records that Utah will not, by law, divulge are routinely made available by the FTC and many other analogous state agencies.

Utah watchdog says it can’t disclose consumer complaints
Dan Harrie, 17 November 2014

Such secrecy is harming – not helping – consumers, according to the nonprofit Truth in Advertising news and advocacy organization, which was blocked by the state in its attempts to obtain copies of consumer complaints against a Provo-based multi-level marketing company.

Vitaminwater Healthy? Coca-Cola Might Not Get Off Cheap on a Settlement Over Its Marketing
Jason Best, 23 October 2014

The nonprofit group Truth in Advertising is crying foul, and this week it formally requested permission from the court to object to the settlement. It’s not so much that $1.2 million is, essentially, pocket change for Coke-the company’s sales were almost $12 billion last quarter alone-but that the money will go to cover attorneys’ fees. Not a cent goes back to consumers. Even more troubling, Coke won’t be required to change all that much in terms of its deceptive marketing.

Vitaminwater Pressured To Pay People Who Thought It Was A Health Drink
Alexander Kaufman, 23 October 2014

Truth In Advertising, a Connecticut-based group that fights against deceptive advertising, is trying to get compensation for people who bought Vitaminwater thinking it was more healthful than it actually is. To do this, the group is pressuring a judge to reject a class-action settlement over the brand’s advertising.

Group Challenges Settlement in Vitamin Water Case
Lisa Hoffman, 23 October 2014

Blasting a proposed settlement that would give the plaintiffs’ attorneys $1.2 million and consumers only injunctive relief, the watchdog group Truth in Advertising Inc. has filed a motion to oppose the deal cut with The Coca-Cola. Co. over alleged false advertising of its Glaceau Vitaminwater products.
The group, campaigning for class members to object to the deal, also calls it “adding insult to injury” that the agreement calls for mandatory class certification, which does not allow members to opt out and pursue individual claims.

Consumer advocacy group disputes Coca-Cola legal case
Sarah Shearman, 22 October 2014

But consumer advocacy group Truth in Advertising is not happy with Coca-Cola’s settlement and yesterday filed an objection, Business Insider reports.
According to a statement from Truth in Advertising, the proposed settlement is of “little benefit” to consumers, who have been “deceived” by Coca-Cola’s marketing.

People Who Felt Tricked Into Thinking Vitaminwater Was A Health Drink Might Be Compensated With Cash
Lara O’Reilly, 22 October 2014

Truth In Advertising (TINA.org), a US-based nonprofit organization, is calling on consumers to contest Coca-Cola’s $1.2 million preliminary settlement over allegations of deceptive labeling and advertising of its Glacéau Vitaminwater drinks.

Is Vitaminwater Worse Than Soda? Lawsuit Outcome Questioned
Joanna Fantozzi, 21 October 2014

However, Truth in Advertising has just filed an objection against the proposed settlement claiming that it is not enough.
“Under the terms of the agreement, the class members are to receive zero cash reimbursement. Coca-Cola also gets to continue calling its product ‘vitaminwater’ and can still market the sugary drink in a deceptive manner,” claims the watchdog organization.

Vemma’s Army of Young Recruits
Laura Rena Murray and Atossa Abrahamian, 14 October 2014

The YPR Pariah blog has been silenced, but a copy of the content still exists on the Truth in Advertising website.

Kirstin Downey and Claude Marx, 1 October 2014

Some of the letters came as a result of a public awareness campaign by a new Connecticut-based nonprofit group called Truth in Advertising.org, known as TINA, which is trying to highlight what it calls false advertising claims. The organization was founded about a year ago, and uses outreach through social media to raise awareness of issues before the FTC and other consumer protection agencies.
In an interview with FTC:WATCH, Bonnie Patten, TINA’s executive director, said the group is filing complaints about what she called scams, and urges its allies to spread the word about problems it has identified. She said they are writing letters to state and federal officials, around the world, to voice their concerns.

What, exactly, does “Made in the USA” mean?
Adriene Hill, 1 September 2014

A lot of companies try and wordsmith their way around the law,” said Bonnie Patten from TruthinAdvertising.org.

State cracks down on three e-cigarette marketers
Mike Gorrell, 28 August 2014

A nonprofit group Truth In Advertising had filed complaints in July with the Federal Trade Commission and the Utah Attorney General’s office, raising issues with the marketing approaches of all three companies and others.
“We are happy to hear the state is taking action to hold the industry accountable and protect consumers from false and misleading business practices,” said Truth In Advertising marketing director Shana Mueller.

That Millennial Marketing Verve
Andrew Thompson, 6 August 2014

I think [Vemma has] many features that could be at issue if they’re held up to a legal standard,” Bonnie Patten, Truth in Advertising’s executive director, told me. One of the things Patten cites is Vemma’s model of compensating brand partners for recruiting more brand partners; Vemma distributors receive “bonus points” for signing up new members (part of an aggregate of points that eventually turns into money), and the Frenzy Bonus rewards distributors with a cash payout for signing up three new distributors in a single week.

Students Targeted by Elixir ‘Pyramid Scheme’
Robin Henry, 3 August 2014

Truth in Advertising, an American consumer advocacy group, claimed its research showed that Vemma affiliates were more likely to lose money rather than to make any.

Controversial Beverage Company Set to Hold Training Event in Stamford
Elizabeth Kim, 22 July 2014

I think that they are taking advantage of a very vulnerable population and it can have extreme effects on the rest of these kids’ lives,” said Bonnie Patten, the executive director of Truth in Advertising, a Connecticut-based consumer watchdog group that has scrutinized the company and its claims. “The fact is that Vemma has many of the attributes of a pyramid scheme.

Controversial energy drink maker targets local students
Amber Hunt, 13 July 2014

Bonnie Patten, executive director of the consumer advocacy group Truth in Advertising, said she’d like to see laws in place requiring more transparency from all multilevel marketing companies.
“There are legitimate MLMs,” Patten said, “but here’s the thing: If I’m a pyramid scheme, I call myself an MLM. Within the MLM community, there are wolves hiding in sheep’s clothes.

Tom Horne campaign contributors prompt questions
J.T. Reid, 7 June 2014

Boreyko has faced scrutiny more recently as the CEO of Vemma Nutrition Co., an Arizona-based multi-level marketing company that specializes in energy drinks. Italian regulators earlier this year accused the company of being a pyramid scheme and fined it about $140,000, according to consumer group truthinadvertising.org.

Patriot Games: The Great ‘Made in USA’ Illusion
Sara Bongiorni, May 2014

Patten argues that because FTC can’t levy fines quickly, government regulations provide “minimal” deterrence to companies that make false or exaggerated labeling claims. However, both Patten and Hasler agree that it’s difficult to determine how many companies mislabel products, because no studies investigate the composition of products that are labeled “Made in USA” to the necessary level.

Marketing rules too lax on e-cigarettes, critics say
Amber Hunt, 27 April 2014

Fran Silverman, editor of Connecticut-based Truth in Advertising, said she’s analyzing 600 consumer complaints filed with the Federal Trade Commission about e-cigarettes. Hundreds of other complaints have been filed through Better Business Bureaus nationwide and with states’ attorneys general.
Setting aside health questions, ‘there’s a variety of claims being made – some by unscrupulous companies,’ Silverman said.

Verve Ruling Hits a Nerve
Michelle Celarier, 26 April 2014

The group, truthinadvertising.org, analyzed the Italian regulator’s findings this week and said it would take the information to the FTC.
Vemma has agreed to eliminate several bonuses that required buying huge amounts of product and recruiting additional people.
The consumer group dismissed the changes as window-dressing. It claimed that salespeople still need to buy $150 worth of product every month, purchase a $500 “affiliate pack,” and personally enroll at least six individuals who have to buy $150 of product each month.

How to Beat Tax-Time Identity Thieves
Sue Marquette Poremba, 11 April 2014

The main tool IRS scam artists use is social engineering,” said Bonnie Patten, executive director of TruthinAdvertising.org, a consumer-watchdog group based in Madison, Conn. “The reason [the scams] are so effective is due to fear,” Patten said. “People are afraid of the tax man, and the scammers out there know that.” Fear of being caught by the tax collector makes recent immigrants, among other groups, top targets of IRS-related scams. “The fraudsters behind this IRS tax scams take advantage of vulnerable populations, their lack of knowledge and their fear of government agencies, to exploit and abuse [them],” Patten said.

Don’t Get Scammed
Heidi Lynn Russell, Vol. II Issue 1 2014

To help you protect yourself against schemes that target service members, we compiled advice from three experts: Holly Petraeus, director of the Office of Servicemember Affairs at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB); ID theft expert Robert Siciliano of BestIDTheftCompanys.com; and Shana Mueller, communications and marketing director at TruthInAdvertising.org.

Is ITT Tech screwing over students?
Matt Stroud, 18 March 2014

I don’t think the monetary fine will have any impact on ITT practices,” says Bonnie Patten from Truth In Advertising. “What could negatively impact [ITT Tech] are provisions that force them to more honestly and truthfully disclose the facts of their business.” Patten continues: “I’m not against [for-profit colleges] on a theoretical level. I’m against for-profit colleges deceiving consumers so they can make money.

TCPA Doesn’t Protect Consumers from Texts by Third-Party Vendors
Frederick Reese, 11 March 2014

According to Bonnie Patten, executive director of TruthInAdvertising.org, the federal court’s decision follows the Federal Communications Commission’s 1992 ruling that “persons who knowingly give their phone number have in effect given their invitation or permission to be called at the number which they have given, absent instructions to the contrary.

Buyer’s Remorse? You May Not Be Stuck With It
Gerri Detweiler, 24 January 2014

And that’s where a lot of the problems occur, says Bonnie Patten, executive director at TruthInAdvertising.org. She says that one of the common complaints her organization hears involves consumers who sign up for a “free trial” of a product, only to discover that they will be charged on a recurring basis for additional product. These companies typically advertise that consumers can cancel if they aren’t satisfied, but “they limit it to such a short period of time that it’s nearly impossible to get out of it,” she warns.

Yelp Filtered Reviews Blues: Businesses Hate The Mysterious Algorithm, But Is There Any Way To Crack It?
Christopher Zara, 17 January 2014

Bonnie Patten, a lawyer and executive director of Truth in Advertising, said choosing whether or not to pay for reputation management is no different than choosing any type of service. In other words, don’t go into it with blinders on. “You really need to do your homework,” she said. “Before you sign a contract or hand over any cash, ask to speak to previous clients. I have no doubt that there are reputation-management companies out there that are up to no good. When you see things like ‘immediate removal’ or ‘quick and fast removal,’ that’s just not reality.

FTC Dissent Could Spell End To Strict Health Ad Standard
Allison Grande, 10 January 2014

Bonnie Patten, the executive director of consumer watchdog group Truth in Advertising, supported the two commissioners’ assessment, telling Law360 on Friday on that Ohlhausen’s dissent “fuels the misconception that the FTC has a de facto rule that health – and disease-related claims must be substantiated by at least two randomized controlled trials.

The FTC Says Some Native Ads Are Unlawful. How Should Brand Publishers React?
Thursday Bram, 5 December 2013

The FTC is grappling with the issue of what type of disclosure is necessary to ensure that consumers can distinguish advertisements from independent content online,” said Bonnie Patten, the executive director of TruthInAdvertising.org.

Watchdog Group Probes Into TEFL Institute’s ‘Deceptive Advertising Claims’
22 November 2013

The consumer watchdog Truth in Advertising.org is probing into the Chicago-based TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language) Institute over alleged “deceptive advertising claims.

Vemma Verve Energy Drink Billing Class-Action Lawsuit
Ann Bucher, 18 November 2013

The class-action lawsuit refers to an article posted by the consumer watchdog agency Truth in Advertising, which cites the numerous complaints about Vemma that have been submitted to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Mascara Ads: Thick Lashes, Fine Print
Andrew Adam Newman, 12 November 2013

Ms. Patten, of Truth in Advertising, said that while a bit of manipulation in cosmetics advertising may seem a trivial matter, there are consequences. “If all this mascara is so great, I don’t understand why they need to use lash inserts,” she said.

Attorney general cracks down on fake online reviews
Eric Walter, 12 November 2013

I think it boils down to, when we see a (traditional) ad, we know it’s a biased review,” said Bonnie Patten, executive director of Truth In Advertising, a Connecticut-based nonprofit that aims to protect consumers from false advertising and deceptive marketing.

Who’s to Blame for a Food Class-Action Lawsuit?
Jennifer Kaplan, 11 November 2013

Patten suggests that companies would be well served not to make claims on packaging that is “at odds with the actual ingredients in the product.” She contends that terms such as “green,” “light,” “low fat or low sugar,” “local,” or “humane” are all terms that can get a company into trouble because the government does not regulate or adequately define these terms.

J&J Pays $2.2B Over Charges Of Improper Risperdal Marketing
Ed Silverman, 4 November 2013

In any event, some observers were critical of the settlement. “The lesson that pharmaceutical companies can take away from J&J’s $2.2 billion settlement with the DOJ is that the deceptive practice of off-label marketing of drugs is economically advantageous,” says Bonnie Patten, executive director of Truth In Advertising, a non profit organization. She notes that Risperdal sales between 1999 and 2005 totaled some $9 billion. “The real winner today is Johnson & Johnson.

When Dental Hygiene Meets False Advertising Suits
Manatt Phelps and Phillips LLP, 1 November 2013

But last week watchdog group Truth in Advertising Inc. (TINA.org) requested leave to file an amicus brief in the case to object to the terms of the deal. TINA.org argued that the proposed terms fail to provide meaningful or adequate compensation for the class. Because the vouchers must be used toward the purchase of future Philips products, “the only party to the settlement receiving any meaningful benefit is Philips,” according to the brief.
“Class members, who are the victims of deceptive marketing, will not receive any compensation whatsoever from the settlement unless they purchase another product from Philips,” TINA.org wrote. “To make matters worse, the de minimis value of the already small vouchers is significantly decreased by the fact that they will come with a time restriction – class members must use their vouchers within one year.

Watchdog attacks coupon settlement in false advertising action
Maggie Mayo, 30 October 2013

The recent filing of an amicus brief by advertising watchdog Truth in Advertising Inc. (TINA.org) is a good reminder that, even where there are no objectors, class-action settlements are subject to attack by third parties. The proposed settlement would dispose of a class action against Philips Oral Health Care, Inc. (Philips) for allegedly deceptively marketing its Sonicare AirFloss plaque removal product.

How to Spot Bogus Medical Products
Donna Fuscaldo, 29 October 2013

A lot of companies are making claims that they are not permitted to make by law or are making claims they can’t back up,” says Bonnie Patten, director of Truthinadvertising.org. “Nowadays, there are so many cases of deceptive ads out there; state and federal agencies can only deal with so many.”
Just like financial or identity scams, Patten says unscrupulous marketers target vulnerable consumers with products. She says marketers prey on those suffering from an illness or problem and use that desperation to get consumers to purchase a so-called miracle cure.

Time to better regulate cosmetics claims and ads in the U.S. says TINA.org
Andrew McDougall, 23 October 2013

The time has come for more focus and pressure to be put on deceptive advertising claims made about cosmetics products, according to independently funded group, TINA.org.

TINA.org wants more from Sonicare AirFloss settlement
Dr. Bicuspid Staff, 21 October 2013

TINA.org is taking on the larger issue of “coupon settlements,” as a motivating factor since they benefit a business that has proved to be guilty of wrongdoing, the group said. Statistics show that redemption rates for settlement coupons and vouchers are extremely low.
These settlements are never a true benefit to consumers, argued Bonnie Patten, executive director of TINA.org, because consumers may not want to have to buy a product from a company that has deceived them. And, often the coupons come with stipulations that make it even more difficult and less likely consumers will redeem them.

Philips AirFloss Buyers Shafted In False Ad Deal, Group Says
Linda Chiem, 16 October 2013

Advertising watchdog Truth in Advertising Inc. urged a California federal judge Tuesday to reject a settlement that provides consumers with vouchers, instead of actual cash, in a class action accusing Philips Oral Health Care Inc. of deceptively marketing its Sonicare AirFloss plaque removal product.

NourishLife revokes Speak claims after deceptive marketing practices exposed
Maggie Hennessy, 15 October 2013

NAD’s recommendations followed a March 2013 letter by consumer advocacy group Truth in Advertising sent complaint letters about NourishLife’s marketing of Speak to the company, the Attorney General of Illinois (where NourishLife is based), the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after a months-long investigation of the company revealed a number of similar deceptive marketing claims.

Kid’s Dietary Supplement Forced To Change Deceptive Ads
Aaron Case, 14 October 2013

It’s pretty simple,” says Bonnie Patten, an attorney and TINA.org’s executive director. “If a company is marketing a supplement, they need to be honest and truthful. If they’re going to make a health benefit claim, they need to have adequate scientific peer reviewed study to back up their claims.

Insurance Marketplaces and Your Personal Information
Lisa Zamosky, 11 October 2013

According to the nonprofit organization, TruthinAdvertising.org, several fraudulent health insurance schemes related to Obamacare are already making the rounds. The scams range from fake websites claiming to sell Obamacare health insurance policies for under $30 a month to scam artists trying to get consumers to reveal personal information.

Who’s protecting the consumer?
Dennis Kneale, 11 October 2013

Our executive director was on Fox Business to talk about TINA.org’s recent efforts to halt deceptive advertising.

Verve energy drink turning college students into sales force
Michelle Celarier, 29 September 2013

A consumer group, truthinadvertising.org, criticized Vemma’s promotion of its affiliation with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns and TV health expert Dr. Mehmet Oz. Some young salesmen told The Post those two affiliations proves Vemma is on the up-and-up. But neither the team nor Oz endorse the company. Vemma donated money to an Oz charity, according to truthinadvertising.org, which said many consumers have complained to the FTC that Vemma is a pyramid scheme targeting high school and college students.

Snake oil for the 21st century
September 2013

This blend of nutrients was claimed to aid speech development in children “as soon as the first week.”
Busted. In August, a division of the Better Business Bureau recommended that Speak’s maker, NourishLife, stop certain ad claims. The action came at the urging of Truth in Advertising, a consumer-watchdog group. NourishLife has removed some claims and testimonials from its website.

2 women face sentencing in ‘gifting table’ scheme
Erin Logan, 5 August 2013

The women would often leave the tables after receiving $40,000 from new members.
Laura Smith, Legal Director of Truth in Advertising.org explains the deceptive component.
“The operation promises they’ll make large amounts of money. The problem is because it’s based on recruiting other people, eventually, people at the bottom of the pyramid lose out because there’s no one to recruit,” said Smith.

Native Advertising: The Truth About Truth
Tiffani Allen, 31 July 2013

Bonnie Patten, executive director of TruthInAdvertising.org, described the unique problem with native advertising: “Native advertising, such as paid search results, presents a danger to consumers who may not be able to easily identify it as advertising, especially when the ads drive users to third-party sites. TINA.org believes that native advertising should be clearly marked as ads so that consumers can make an informed decision before they click.

Launch of truthinadvertising.org featured on CBS Radio
Joe Connolly, 16 May 2013

Truthinadvertising.org was mentioned in a CBS Radio segment by Joe Connolly, Wall Street Journal reporter for CBS Radio.


Dealership Raises Price of Car After Advertising Low
Beau Berman, 11 April 2013

Truthinadvertising.org was featured on a Fox CT News investigative report about a bait and switch at a Connecticut car dealership.

A New Connecticut-Based Website Works to Uncover False Advertising
Gregory B. Hladky, 3 April 2013

The folks behind “Truth In Advertising,” a new Connecticut-based website, believe the claims that have been made for those products are only the smallest tip of a multi-billion-dollar deceptive-marketing iceberg.
“We want to be the Consumer Reports of false advertising,” says Bonnie Patten, a lawyer and executive director of the recently created nonprofit watchdog organization.

Skechers lawsuit: How to get your piece of the $40-million payout
Rene Lynch, 17 May 2012

Meanwhile, Truth in Advertising, a new consumer advocacy group based in Connecticut, questioned whether the FTC settlement would serve as a deterrent. Bonnie Patten, the group’s executive director, noted that Skechers was the leader in the so-called shape-up shoe market, which racked up more than $1 billion in sales in 2010.
“What does $40 million mean to them?” Patten told The Times, saying that the FTC had failed to provide “one shred of data to support the idea that this is a just or reasonable number. My guess is that [Skechers’ celebrity-driven] marketing campaign cost more than that every year. Is this just the cost of doing business for them?

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