FTC Action Against Synovia

 Steps Taken to Stop Synovia from Making False Arthritis Treatment Claims

The marketing team of Synovia, a dietary supplement that could “supposedly” treat arthritis and alleviate joint pain, has agreed to settle FTC charges, and halt the deceptive marketing tactics they allegedly used to trick consumers.
Highlights from the article:
  • “The FTC’s proposed settlement with Colorado-based A.S. Research, LLC (ASR) and its two owners, Stephen J. Young and Michael K. Ledeboer, bars them from continuing to make the alleged misleading and unsupported claims about Synovia, including that the supplement would pave the “pot holes” in damaged joints, replace expensive injected medications, and reduce arthritis pain by 95 percent. It also requires the defendants to pay $821,000, which the Commission may use to provide refunds to defrauded consumers.
  • According to the FTC’s complaint, the defendants promoted 30-capsule bottles of Synovia nationwide through newspaper ads, bulk mailers, and their own websites. In addition to the misleading claims and endorsements, the defendants featured consumer testimonials that were often phony, including one showing a user who purportedly “gave away his walker” after using Synovia, the FTC alleged. The complaint further alleges that the defendants falsely claimed that consumers needed to pay extra for a version of Synovia containing an added ingredient to increase pain relief and speed joint repair, when in fact all purchasers received that product.
  • The proposed settlement order also bars the defendants from misrepresenting the results of any scientific study or endorsement and requires them to disclose any material connections they have with endorsers. It imposes a judgement of more than $4.1 million against the defendants, which will be partially suspended after they pay $821,000.”
This is a classic road map for fraud. 
Let’s see:
Make unauthorized health claims – check
False claims about an arthritis cure – check
Fake testimonials – check
Fake doctors – check
Fake extra strength version – check
Fake customer quote “Gave away his walker” – check
Permanent injunction
$4 Million judgment
Was it worth it?
Check out the entire article here

by Peter Hoppenfeld