Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has issued a final order settling charges that two brothers deceived consumers while marketing and selling their trampolines online. According to the FTC's complaint, the brothers advertised and sold Infinity and Olympus Pro brand trampolines on several websites featuring the logos of supposedly independent review organizations that allegedly tested and approved the brothers' trampolines. Each review entity also had its own website touting positive reviews from purported impartial experts and satisfied consumers, all recommending the brothers' trampolines.
The FTC complaint alleged the review entities were not independent and the reviews were not objective. The complaint also charged that one of the brothers posted online reviews as if he were an ordinary trampoline owner, without disclosing his connection to the products he was promoting.
The final order announced today bars the brothers from engaging in such deceptive behavior in the future and requires them to clearly and conspicuously disclose any material connections between a reviewer and the product being reviewed.
The Commission vote approving the final consent order was 2-0. The staff contact is Karen Mandel, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-2491.
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