Friday, September 22, 2006

Sometimes, there is Justice in this World

Via Ed Brayton, I see that the people responsible for those ridiculous Enzyte "natural male enhancement" ads with Bob, the guy with a mile wide grin on his face who the ladies all pine for presumably because his penis is now massive, have been indicted on multiple counts of fraud. Here's what got them in trouble:

They are accused by federal authorities of luring customers with free-trial offers and money-back guarantees, then billing their credit cards without authorization. [...]

The company, based in suburban Forest Park, Ohio, also used false advertising, the indictment charges.

In one example, Wednesday's indictment cited ads placed in Penthouse and other male-oriented magazines that claimed Enzyte was developed after years of study by two doctors, one at Harvard and the other at Stanford.

"The company president and others made up information in their advertisements, such as endorsements by doctors that did not exist, and results of customer satisfaction surveys that had never been conducted," U.S. Attorney Greg Lockhart said.

Customers with complaints were told to write to a director of customer care who did not exist, the indictment alleges. [...]

The indictment says at one point, Berkeley marketed a supplement called Rovicid as a prostate health product for men, but later relabeled old stocks of Rovicid as a cardiac health supplement for men and women.

Annoyingly, here is what didn't get them in trouble: Selling bullshit. For some reason, it's not illegal to claim that your supplements make people's dicks grow bigger, even though they obviously won't, it's only illegal if you refer to fake doctors or fake surveys. I would have thought that the product description itself is a big enough fraud, but snake-oil salesmen in this country can peddle their wares without molestation just so long as they exercise a little caution. This irritates me so bad, I'm going to have to up my dose of laetrile.