A non-profit group known as TINA.org, out of Madison, Connecticut, committed to helping protect consumers against false advertising and deceptive marketing, filed the complaints this week. (TINA stands for “truth in advertising.”)
Jeunesse is being singled out because of both product benefit and efficacy claims as well as presumably false income claims. The TINA summary of action explains the group’s top two concerns further:
- “the use of deceptive income claims — both by the company and its distributors — regarding the financial gains consumers will achieve by becoming distributors”
- “Jeunesse distributors’ use of unsubstantiated health and treatment claims about Jeunesse products, such as being able to cure cancer and other serious illnesses”
TINA has documented the company making inappropriate claims that its products cure eczema and psoriasis, for instance. And the group points out that doctors on the company’s advisory board promise, “our products are really designed to not only treat aging but to help prevent it and slow it at these early ages.”
Beneath the surface
The anti-aging company is at its core a skin care and supplements company that sells and distributes product using a network of direct-to-consumer representatives.
Jeunesse, after being contacted by TINA, apparently acknowledged that making deceptive claims is against the law and “agreed to ramp up its compliance monitoring,” according to a press release about the FTC complaint.
Now TINA, in the wake of a numerous consumer complaints about Jeunesse, wants to know, “is the company running a legitimate MLM business or an illegal pyramid scheme?” The group’s website provides further documentation of its many suspicions.
Since TINA did not see swift change in the Jeunesse marketing messages after contacting the company last month, it filed a formal complaint this week with the Federal Trade Commission. The non-profit went a step further and, “also notified the Florida Attorney General that Jeunesse CEO Randy Ray is in violation of a 2009 order against him,” according to the press release.
The group’s previous success inspiring the FTC to take legal action against companies for inappropriate marketing claims doesn’t bode well for Jeunesse Global.