POM Wonderful charged with selling snake oil...

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POM Wonderful charged with selling snake oil...

Post by Doc Bunkum » Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:57 pm

While not exactly MLM...

POM Wonderful charged with selling snake oil

September 27, 2010

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Despite being rich in antioxidants, pomegranate juice is probably not an effective treatment for heart disease and other serious health conditions.

That's according to a federal lawsuit filed Monday against POM Wonderful LLC, which makes POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice and POMx supplements, among other products made from the fruit.

The Federal Trade Commission said POM Wonderful violated trade laws by making "false and unsubstantiated claims" that its products will prevent or treat heart disease, prostrate cancer, and erectile dysfunction.
Now, if the FTC would look at a few MLM companies I could mention...

Anyways, talking about POM making "false and unsubstantiated claims"...

At the conclusion of the recent POM/Welch lawsuit, POM Wonderful President Matt Tupper was quoted as saying:
"POM has always been an advocate of honest labeling".
It's worth noting the FTC case comes weeks after POM Wonderful won a lawsuit against rival juice maker Welch's for claiming that its pomegranate juice was 100% pure.
The verdict in that case was "a clear win for consumers who are constantly bombarded by deceptively labeled products marketed by big juice companies," Tupper (POM Wonderful President) said in a statement at the time. "Based on their cleverly designed labels, these products appear to contain large quantities of exotic and healthy juices when in fact nearly all of the ingredients are cheap filler juices."
POM Wonderful charged with selling snake oil

"Nearly all of the ingredients are cheap filler juices" - something we've long suspected about most MLM companies, I might add.


Re: POM Wonderful charged with selling snake oil...

Post by Mythbuster » Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:26 am

In case it is even remotely relevant to this thread:

Lawyer for POM Wonderful Facing Sanctions (Source: The BLT - The Blog of LegalTimes - 10/12/2010): http://legaltimes.typepad.com/blt/2010/ ... tions.html

Barry Coburn, a name partner at Coburn & Coffman representing juice maker POM Wonderful in at least two cases, has been ordered to show cause as to why he shouldn't be sanctioned for allegedly making false representations to a D.C. Superior Court judge.

Judge Judith Bartnoff, who is presiding over a breach of contract suit filed against POM by Hogan Lovells, said in an order handed down on Oct. 6 that Coburn and POM misrepresented the confidential status of an ongoing Federal Trade Commission investigation into medical claims made by POM in advertising and marketing materials.

In the Hogan case, which stems from the firm’s claim that POM has failed to pay more than $666,000 in legal fees for the firm’s work on the FTC investigation, Coburn fought for months to keep any reference to the FTC investigation under seal.

According to court records, Coburn argued on behalf of POM that any reference to the FTC investigation was protected by attorney-client privileges. In a June 11 pleading in the Hogan case, Coburn calls the FTC investigation “highly confidential and privileged.”

In July, The National Law Journal obtained court records in the Hogan case that identified the name of the agency investigating POM but were later placed under seal. Coburn sought and obtained a temporary restraining order against the newspaper that barred it from disclosing the name of the agency. POM ultimately requested that the temporary restraining order be dropped after the NLJ — backed by an amicus brief joined by The Washington Post, The New York Times and other media outlets — had asked the D.C. Court of Appeals to overturn Bartnoff's ruling.

According to Bartnoff’s Oct. 6 order, POM itself disclosed the name of the agency in a separate suit the company filed in California. Bartnoff wrote, “It would appear that [POM Wonderful] itself knew or should have known of the content of the filings on the public record in its California lawsuit and that the representations made to this court that the existence of the FTC investigation had not been made public were not accurate.” The order does not name the specific lawsuit.

Bartnoff set a hearing for Oct. 22, at which time POM and Coburn will be required to show cause to why they shouldn’t be sanctioned for allegedly violating the federal rules regarding disclosures made to a judge. Bartnoff also ordered the parties in the case to be prepared to address whether the sealing order should be lifted.

In a statement, Coburn’s lawyer, Mark Rochon, a white collar defense partner at Miller & Chevalier, said, “Once this was brought to Barry's attention, he notified the Court and that is what prompted the hearing. I have known Barry for over 20 years and I am 100% sure that his representations to the Court were what he reasonably believed to be true."

Randell Ogg, a Washington-based solo practitioner representing Hogan in its suit against POM, declined to comment on Bartnoff’s order. Hogan’s general counsel George “Sandy” Mayo also declined to comment.

For POM, the sanctions hearing is the latest twist in a complex litigation history. The company is known for its tough litigation stance. In 2009 and 2010, the company filed at least seven lawsuits against such beverage giants as Welch Foods Inc., Tropicana Products Inc., Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc. and Coca-Cola Co., which distributes Minute Maid juices.

POM sued the FTC last month, in another case being handled by Coburn, alleging that the agency's rules on deceptive advertising violate the company’s free speech rights. But then two weeks later, the FTC fired back in an administrative complaint against POM, its parent company Roll International Corp., and Stewart Resnick, chairman of POM; Lynda Resnick, co-director of Roll; and Matthew Tupper, president and chief operating officer of POM. In the administrative complaint, the FTC alleges that the juice maker violated federal law by making deceptive disease prevention and treatment claims.

Green Lantern

Re: POM Wonderful charged with selling snake oil...

Post by Green Lantern » Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:53 am

POM just ran a TV locally claiming that pomegranate juice was considered to be an aphrodisiac by such-and-such an ancient tribe. :?

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Re: POM Wonderful charged with selling snake oil...

Post by LaVidaRoja » Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:55 am

Did they at least make the effort of acertaining that the tribe making the claim was in an area where pomgranites[sp] grew at that time?
Little boys who tell lies grow up to be weathermen.

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Re: POM Wonderful charged with selling snake oil...

Post by JamesVincent » Sun Nov 07, 2010 4:56 am

According to the ad Aphrodite herself introduced pomegranates to Cyprus as a aphrodisiac. And according to the Wiki and other places they do indeed grow them on Cyprus and other Mediterranean areas but originated in Persia and the Himalayas. So they did indeed get that part right, sort of.

Just a quick addition, however beautiful the model was for the ad, I dont remember her in Iron Man 2.
Lift me up above this, the flames and the ashes,
Lift me up and help me to fly away.
Lift me up above this, the broken, the empty,
Lift me up and help me to fly away,
Lift me up!

Five Finger Death Punch "Lift Me Up"


Re: POM Wonderful charged with selling snake oil...

Post by Mythbuster » Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:01 am

Green Lantern wrote:POM just ran a TV locally claiming that pomegranate juice was considered to be an aphrodisiac by such-and-such an ancient tribe.
Just saw POM's TV ad yesterday. Hot naked model with a long snake crawling over her in different poses. The commercial I saw likened Pomegranite to the "apple" from the Tree of Life from which the "Serpent" tricked Eve into eating. The single fruit dangling in the tree above was most certainly a POM.

Mythbuster thought of all of you.

Green Lantern

Re: POM Wonderful charged with selling snake oil...

Post by Green Lantern » Sun Nov 07, 2010 7:14 am

Perhaps Aphrodite can fight out with Xena, the Warrior Princess of Acai berries to establish precedence of the super-foods (followed by a victory snack of pistachios!)? :Axe: