Yesterday, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, along with Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal blasted Acai websites in general and Acai flogs in particular saying they’ll likely sue the people behind them for consumer fraud and try to recover damages and restitution for those who felt misled.
My guess is the majority of the Acai flogs (fake blogs) are from affiliates that will do anything to make a buck and make our industry look bad. If you have an Acai flog I suggest you pull it. If you are even marketing Acai you should re-think it. Once something escalates to this level the feds will usually step in.
The CSPI and the AG put out a warning to consumers to be careful of the fraud. The stories I’ve read about the warning cover 3 primary issues, in short 1) No scientific evidence Acai works 2) The credit card re-billing and difficulty getting re-bills stopped 3) The fake testimonials and flogs.
Someone investigated and found that a model with a photo on istockphoto had been photoshopped to look thinner and had been used on 75 different fake Acai weightloss testimonial blogs with 75 different names. “These diet ‘bloggers’ are just a mirage,” Schardt said. “Their weight loss is courtesy of Photoshop, not açai.”
Consumers Warned of Web-Based Açai Scams “Companies Use Fake Blogs, Fake Endorsements, Fishy Science, and Hard-to-Cancel Credit Card Transactions to Bilk Consumers”
ABC News has a video and story about the scam. ABC NEWS VIDEO – Warnings on Acai Berry Online Offers Amplify. “Watchdog Group Says Online Acai Credit Card Rip-Offs Are Reaching New Levels” The video is also being pushed out through Yahoo and probably other news outlets, so if nothing else Acai sales will probably drop due to all the negative publicity.