TINA.org Refers Publisher Agora to FTC for Enforcement Action; Investigation Reveals Deception & Dark Patterns
Known primarily for its array of books, subscriptions and newsletters hawking health and financial advice to retirees, Agora’s multilegged marketing machine is comprised of more than 80 entities selling more than 400 products, programs, and services including nutritional supplements and publication subscriptions. TINA.org found numerous Agora marketing materials peddling publications purportedly featuring “secrets” for fighting cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, heart disease and other conditions that disproportionally affect older adults. One video even promotes a “Coronavirus Vaccine Survival Guide,” which is “in limited supply” and contains information about “safe, alternative solutions [to the coronavirus vaccine] you simply will not hear about from Big Pharma or mainstream medicine.” None of the materials reviewed by TINA.org revealed any secret disease treatments or preventions that are supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence.
Agora entities also exploit those looking to secure their financial wellbeing and make unrealistic guarantees of putting seniors “on the path to an independent, wealthy retirement in no time” and fattening their “retirement nest egg” without clearly disclosing many of the risks associated with the investment strategies. In reality, the publications and programs that Agora offers, some of which cost as much as $5,000, are primarily lining Agora’s pockets.
Moreover, the investigation found that Agora uses a number of dark patterns to convince seniors to forgo their physician-recommended medications and therapies in lieu of their unproven products and revelations, and to pay for deceptively marketed financial subscriptions. From creating a false sense of urgency with claims of “limited supply” to burying automatic renewal notices in the fine print and more, Agora entities employ a multitude of dark patterns to take advantage of their target audience.
To read more about TINA.org’s investigation of Agora’s deceptive marketing, see: www.truthinadvertising.org/agora-still-using-deception-dark-patterns-ensnare-seniors/