The national authorities are apparently trying very hard to actually improve things for the general populous, although they seem to be starting in the wrong place. In one of the strangest moves so far this year, the FTC settled with Lumosity for $2 million for lying.
- Lumosity claims to work with over 100 international researchers
- 70 million people in 182 countries use Lumosity on an almost daily basis
- The company employed a sample of 4,715 subjects to test their program
- Lumosity offers over 50 cognitive games which allegedly improve your brain
- The company claims to train people’s attention, flexibility, memory, problem solving, and speed of processing
The “brain tests” company got a hefty fine from the FTC, as the Commission investigated the tests supposed to make you smarter and found out that in fact they didn’t.
But this wasn’t where the Federal Trade Commission stopped, as they claimed that cognitive training products and false claims regarding them are of very high interest to the FTC.
Another company that bit the bullet after making false claims in relation to what their product could do was Focus Education.
The company focuses on what they coined as edutainment. Their edutainment software claimed that some of its brain games similar to those of Lumosity could help in cases of attention disorders.
And their false advertisement obviously worked on millions of parents worldwide, as the company made $4.5 million in one year alone on the game they claimed could help with ADHD – “Jungle Rangers”.
Of course, you could say that they were only claiming what they were were claiming so that they could promote their services – which definitely worked out – and that many other companies also do just that, which is also true.
But the biggest problem with this sort of false advertising is the target audience.
Games like these claim to help with issues like ADHD, cognitive inadequacy, and even dementia, purporting falsely that they can make you smarter, more attentive, and help you remember better.
And the people most fitting their target audience are the very old, or the very young. Or their caretakers.
And this is the biggest issue with the false advertising undertaken by these companies. They claim to be helpful in dire situations. They entice needful, hopeful people to purchase their products under false pretenses.
Of course, like I mentioned in the beginning of the article, it’s weird that the FTC start here, especially since there are other companies lying more about even more important things.
But hopefully this is just the beginning, and the Commission will keep doing what they do, and maybe not ignore the most wealthy of false advertisers.