Anyone who is familiar with watching History Channel/Discovery/TLC/Military Channel, etc after hours is probably aware of the series of commercials involving male enhancement advertising, or advertising for all manner of weigh loss/body fat reducing potions (including topical lotions for taking off body fat and those electric devices that supposedly do the same thing).
What I want to know is…how do they get away with peddling this stuff? I mean, pills that make you larger and give you more sexual energy (or whatever)?? Or pills that turn you from a whale (in picture number one) to some sleek model (in picture number two)?? Is it because a lot of products are ‘herbal’? Or because it’s after hours (I’ve noticed that a lot of the ads don’t come on until after 10pm local, but that might be because that’s generally when I get to the hotel room usually).
So…what’s the Straight Dope on these ads? How do these guys get away with this snake oil?
And since they’re sold as supplements, not drugs, they don’t have to be licensed or evaluated by the FDA. That means they can look like drugs and be advertised by drugs (including ads that show actors dressed like doctors and playing the part of physicians) but since they are legally herbal supplements they are completely unregulated. They may kill you or they may do absolutely nothing.
I think the Enzyte guy was jailed more for his bad business practices than false advertising. Apparently it was practically impossible to cancel your monthly shipment and billing. Phone staff were told to make it very hard for someone to cancel.
As is stated above, the company is still selling that shit.
That was one aspect of it, but they (the owner and much of the company’s staff) were charged with fraud, obstruction of FDA proceedings, conspiracy to obstruct the FTC, and something called “misbranding products.” Plus an assortment of charges related to bank fraud, wire fraud, money laundering ,etc. About a half dozen folks were convicted at trial and another half-dozen took plea deals.
Speaking of those “make you larger” commercials, I saw a new one recently in which they interviewed doctors. What was interesting is that the commercial changed the pitch. The doctors said that it improved the sexual experience/response, but did NOT say that it would make you larger like that same product’s other commercials.
I also like how they tell you the free sample will only cost you the price of a postage stamp. Apparently, they deal in $7.95 postage stamps, not the $0.44 ones I’m used to.