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Concerns about Concussion Claims Prompt FTC Letters

Concerns about Concussion Claims Prompt FTC Letters - The Beacon


By: Amanda

Concerns about Concussion Claims Prompt FTC Letters

As high school and pro sports seasons approach, many consumers will be purchasing equipment for their child. Your BBB would like to remind all consumers that any claims about a product’s protective qualities should be backed by “competent and reliable” scientific evidence.

Recently, the Federal Trade Commission sent letters to five major retailers alerting them to concerns about adequate substantiation for concussion-protection claims made for athletic mouth guards sold on their websites. “According to the letters, making an objective claim for a product without a reasonable basis to support the claim is deceptive.” Furthermore, “the letters point out that retailers, as well as product manufacturers, can be liable for violating the FTC Act if they disseminate false or unsubstantiated claims.”

According to the FTC, the letters identity a mouth guard advertised on each retailer’s website that contains a concussion-protection claim, and advises the retailer to review the claim being made and contact the manufacturer of the product to determine if competent and reliable scientific evidence exists that backs the claims made. In addition, the letters reminded retailers of a previously settled case with a mouth guard manufacturer that did not have the proper scientific data, and informs the retailer that they will be reviewing the website again in 90 days.

Concussions are a hot topic in sports today so it is not surprising that manufacturers want to advertise that their product is the best protection for the athlete in your life; however, the BBB would like to remind you to compare products diligently and review any data available prior to purchase.

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Amanda is the Director of Bureau Affairs and is a regular contributor to the consumer education blog. She is one of our go-to colleagues for answering complex consumer inquires. Amanda also manages our charity reporting program.