FTC Obtains Preliminary Injunction Against Marketers of
Bogus Cancer-Cure “Supreme Greens”
FTC News Release
July 1, 2004
The Federal Trade Commission has won a preliminary injunction against Donald Barrett, Direct Marketing Concepts, Inc. (DMC) and ITV Direct, Inc. (ITV), as part of the FTC’s case alleging that defendants deceptively marketed their dietary supplement product, Supreme Greens with MSM. A U.S. District Court judge found that the FTC has demonstrated that Barrett, DMC, and ITV likely made numerous false and unsubstantiated claims in an infomercial promoting Supreme Greens and that they likely made unauthorized charges to consumers’ credit or debit cards. The preliminary injunction — which prohibits the challenged disease claims and any asset dissipation — will remain in effect pending the outcome of a trial on the FTC’s allegations.
In June 2004, the FTC filed charges against Barrett, DMC, and ITV, along with their business partners, alleging that they deceptively marketed Supreme Greens to consumers through a widely aired infomercial, claiming that the product can cure, treat, or prevent cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease. In addition, the complaint alleges that DMC, ITV, and Barrett failed to disclose that the infomercial promoting Supreme Greens is a paid commercial advertisement and not an independent television program, and that these defendants also charged consumers’ credit cards for automatic product shipments without authorization.
The preliminary injunction prohibits Barrett, DMC, and ITV from making the challenged disease-cure claims, prohibits Barrett, DMC, and ITV from disseminating any advertisement that misrepresents that it is not a paid advertisement, and mandates that infomercials prominently display disclaimers to that effect. The Court also found in the preliminary injunction that the Commission is likely to succeed in holding Barrett, DMC, and ITV jointly and severally liable for violations of the FTC Act and stated that the defendants’ “business operations are permeated by deceptive practices.”
Barrett, DMC, and ITV are prohibited from dissipating any assets and are ordered to pay for a detailed accounting relating to their assets and Supreme Greens sales. Further, the Court stated that if the accounting or additional evidence demonstrates that the defendants have concealed or are likely to conceal assets, it will consider additional FTC requests for the relief necessary to ensure the enforceability of any judgment, such as the appointment of a receiver or an asset freeze.
The preliminary injunction also prohibits the defendants from selling or distributing products, programs, or services by means of a continuity program without first obtaining the express, informed consent of consumers to participate in that program before any shipment is made.
Five additional defendants in this case — Healthy Solutions, LLC and Health Solutions, Inc., and their principals Alejandro Guerrero (a/k/a Alex Guerrero), Michael Howell, and Greg Geremesz — have signed stipulated preliminary injunctions that prohibit the challenged claims and contain additional injunctive relief.
- Federal Trade Commission, Plaintiff, vs. Direct Marketing Concepts (d/b/a Today’s Health and Direct Fulfillment), ITV Direct (d/b/a Direct Fulfillment), Donald W. Barrett, Healthy Solutions (d/b/a Direct Business Concepts), Health Solutions, Alejandro Guerrero (a/k/a Alex Guerrero), Michael Howell, Greg Geremesz, Triad ML Marketing, King Media, and Allen Stern, Defendants . United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Civil Action No. 04-CV-11136. FTC File No. 023-3138.
This page was posted on October 10, 2005.