Airborne Reaches $30M Settlement for Ad Claims
The makers of Airborne have reached an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to pay a total of $30M into a settlement fund, as resolution of a class action lawsuit and related FTC charges of deceptive advertising and product labeling.
Airborne Health Inc., manufacturer of the Airborne dietary supplement -- which is marketed as a cold prevention remedy -- will pay $6.5M to settle FTC charges that its advertising claims were unsubstantiated. The FTC charges relate to an earlier class action lawsuit in which the company agreed to pay $23.5M in consumer refunds and attorneys fees. "There is no credible evidence that Airborne products, taken as directed, will reduce the severity or duration of colds, or provide any tangible benefit for people who are exposed to germs in crowded places," said Lydia Parnes, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, in an FTC news release. In a company press release, Airborne, Inc. declared that it "has denied wrongdoing or illegal conduct in both the class action and before the Federal Trade Commission."
The Washington Post reports that, under the settlement agreement "consumers who bought Airborne products between 2001 and 2008 have until Sept. 15 to apply for a refund for as many as six purchases."
- FTC News Release on Airborne Settlement
- Airborne, Inc. Press Release on the Settlement
- Washington Post: Airborne Coughs Up Millions to Settle Suit
- Letter to Airborne Users from Airborne, Inc. CEO
- FTC: Pills that Prevent the Common Cold? A Tough Claim to Swallow
- Consumers and the Law (FindLaw)
- State Consumer Protection Offices (FindLaw)