October 11th, 2016
In this infomercial pulled from YouTube for a glucosamine and chondroitin supplement drink called Supple, “host” Dr. Monita Poudyal invokes her inner Dr. Oz as she publicly endorses the drink for a number of ailments.
“If you have joint pain, back pain, bone pain, muscle pain, overall weakness or fatigue, arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or even fibromyalgia, this is a product that I highly recommend you try,” Poudyal says, adding: “Supple is guaranteed to work for you.”
But not only did Supple not have sufficient scientific evidence to back up these claims, Poudyal was less the voice of an independent medical expert than the wife of Supple founder and CEO Peter Apatow, the FTC alleged in a recent complaint. Apatow himself is described in the infomercial above only as an “Arthritis Survivor & Advocate.” And while the couple has since divorced, sales of Supple soared before things between them soured — to the tune of more than $150 million between 2011 and 2015, according to the FTC.
In settling the FTC charges, Poudyal and Apatow only have to pay the FTC $285,000 of the $150 million, which equates to less than one-quarter of 1 percent of sales during the four-year span. The settlement also prohibits the divorcees from making unproven claims and from misrepresenting endorsements in the future.
Find more of our coverage on joint pain here.