AG Cracks Down On Acai – Threatens to Sue – ABC News Video

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 ScamsCompanies 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.

9 Comments on AG Cracks Down On Acai – Threatens to Sue – ABC News Video

  1. So.. Should we stop our Acai campaign?

  2. If it were me, I would. But not just due to the heat, I’d pull it knowing the product does not work and the re-billing is oftentimes deceptive.

  3. Wow, the floggers are screwed.

    Soon many of them with be familiar with the term “seized assets”.

    Ouch.

  4. Hi, do you think that flogs as whole will come under scrutiny? I still see a lot of these flogs for niches like anti aging, wrinkle creams, work from home etc etc…

    Or would it just be focused on Acai?

  5. Marie, anytime you make unsubstantiated health claims like most flogs do you could be in trouble. The FTC is also cracking down on testimonials claiming excessive or beyond ordinary results too.

  6. Good! It’s a real mess once your credit card is billed and rebilled even after you’ve asked for a company to stop. I’ve had that happen to me more than once! It takes a long time to get it straightened out and a lot of time, energy, and inconvenience in telephone calls, writing letters to various agencies, reporting the fraud to the card company and/or banks and to the proper law enforcement authorities, sometimes even having to close bank and card accounts in order to finally get the perpetrator’s “monkey off your back.”

    This is absolutely wonderful!

  7. wow what a mess! It’s really not worth it.

  8. I’ve just noticed all these acai ads appearing on our site and have scheduled them to be stopped, the problem with advertiser companies is that they’re probably aware that these ads are scams and yet continue to run them because the advertiser spends big bucks, and they’re not going to turn that big spend away are they?

  9. Admin,

    I work as a legal executive at a large law firm and my boss has been considering putting together a class action against these companies.
    How many consumers have been defrauded from these schemes (weight loss, whitening) in the last 2 years in your opinion?
    Also the public assume these companies have generated millions, however if you refer to the case of FTC vs Infusion M edia, Inc (google money tree, treasure chest), they were fined $7 million+ but they showed funds of $600,000 and thus paid only that amount.
    In your opinion have the acai berry companies been more successful and roughly how much has been generated?

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