Winfrey’s Harpo and Illinois AG sue acai marketers

Dr. Mehmet Oz may have bid farewell to the Oprah Winfrey Show in May, but the pair are back together again, this time as plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in federal court in New York against dozens of companies they claim used their images and false endorsements to market acai supplement products.

Last year, Oz praised the anti-aging properties of the acai berry on Oprah’s show.  Soon, marketers began selling acai products claiming they had been endorsed by Winfrey or Oz. We previously advised about a rash of BBB reports on deceptive acai supplement marketing practices.

Oprah and Oz are represented by Marc Rachman of Davis & Gilbert in New York. The Chicago Tribune reports about a phenomenon where the health benefits of a substance is discussed on the show and then the scams start.  According to Rachman, Winfrey’s Web site has fielded more than 2,000 complaints related to acai-berry-related products.

Also joining in is the Illinois Attorney General who has filed consumer fraud lawsuits against three suppliers and a local marketer of acai berry products.  The suits allege that the companies lure customers with free trial offers, and then charge consumers’ credit cards prematurely, do not always supply the product as promised and make it challenging to cancel the orders.

The Illinios AG filed three suits, the Crush LLC Complaint PDF Document, the Advanced Wellness Complaint PDF Document, and the Amirouch Complaint PDF Document.

To read the Oprah and Oz complaint, click here.

About 

Joel B. Rothman represents clients in intellectual property infringement litigation involving patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, defamation, trade libel, unfair competition, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and commercial matters. Joel’s litigation practice also includes significant focus on electronic discovery issues such as e-discovery management and motion practice relating to e-discovery.

Joel B. Rothman represents clients in intellectual property infringement litigation involving patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, defamation, trade libel, unfair competition, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and commercial matters. Joel’s litigation practice also includes significant focus on electronic discovery issues such as e-discovery management and motion practice relating to e-discovery.

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