The FTC filed a lawsuit against a company that created a bed bug pest control product labeled “Rest Easy”, “Environmentally Friendly”, “Kills & Repels Bed Bugs”, claiming the company made unsubstantiated claims that their product kills and repels bed bugs. The complaint contained only 1 count and said the company simply didn’t provide proof to back up their claim “at the time the claims were made”. That initial complaint was only 8 pages long.
Basically, the FTC settled for $264,976 and agreed to suspend such judgement (and waive that fee) if certain conditions were met, and some of these conditions last for 20 years after the order!
In the end, the FTC got to make an announcement about “Companies Marketing Allegedly Unproven Natural Bed Bug and Head Lice Treatments” that included RMB Group which makes Rest Easy Bug Spray, and RMB appears to be given the okay to sell the product as long as they back it up with documentation. Wouldn’t a warning letter from the FTC to RMB Group have saved everyone a lot of trouble and expense? Don’t get me wrong, the FTC does a fantastic job and is MUCH NEEDED, but in this case, it appears that the RMB Group got the short end of the stick. Below is an image of the spray in 2016 compared to the one mentioned in the FTC Complaint.
I’m sure defending yourself against the FTC is not cheap, but it’s worth the money to hire the right attorney. You can always tell good attorneys by how fast they settle the case as they did here – that is, unless one of them is greedy and convinces their client to continue the lawsuit.
Moral of this story… If you create a product and make claims, MAKE SURE you back up those claims on your website!