July 1, 2020
Authored by: Doug Thompson
“Treats Chronic Pain… Clinically Proven… Smart Device… Approved by the FDA…” These are all claims the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says defendants made advertising the Willow Curve, a low-level light therapy device (LLLT), and all of which the FTC says are false and deceptive. In a settlement announced June 25, 2020, the Willow Curve LLLT device defendants will be subject to a $22 million judgment which includes penalties being paid by two individual physicians who led the involved company LLCs. Defendants also will be prohibited from future allegedly deceptive refund and native advertising campaigns.
“’When LLLT sellers say their devices will relieve pain, they’d better have the scientific proof to back it up,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a June 25 press release. ‘People looking for drug-free pain relief deserve truthful information about these products.’”
FTC Complaint Causes of Action. The complaint asserts the following six counts against defendants which target all aspects of the allegedly improper marketing and sales of the product.
The complaint also contains substantial snapshots of advertising and marketing materials, including scripting of infomercials, native content “research” materials, and alleged testimonials.
All of the claims are based on alleged violations of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) act, specifically Sections 5(a) and 12, 15 U.S.C. §§ 45(a) and 52,