Celebrity-endorsed NFTs leave investors ‘financially crippled’
Jesselyn Cook, NBC News
MADISON, CONN. August 23, 2017 – With Goop, actress-turned-entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow has created a wellness empire based on unconventional products such as yoni eggs, Shaman-inspired medicine bags, and crystal therapy readings. Widely panned by the media, Goop’s “alternative” health products may seem harmless. However, ad watchdog, truthinadvertising.org (TINA.org) investigated the company’s marketing practices and found that Goop is making deceptive health and disease-treatment claims to promote products, in violation of the law.
Founded in 2008 as Paltrow’s “homespun weekly newsletter,” Goop raised millions in venture capital last year and expanded to launch its own line of supplements in March called Goop Wellness. In June, the company hosted its inaugural wellness summit, “In Goop Health” in the Los Angeles area where attendees, including a TINA.org staffer who went undercover, forked over $500-$1500 to hear firsthand the benefits of leech facials and partake in a mineral-infused oxygen bar.
But behind the quirky and often lampooned remedies, TINA.org has found that the company markets a variety of products, including supplements, oils, and crystals, using illegal health and disease-treatment claims. Goop’s essential oils, for example, are marketed to “help tremendously with chronic issues from anxiety and depression to migraines.”
The ad watchdog has catalogued more than 50 such examples of the company claiming, without substantiation, that its products (or third-party products promoted by Goop) can treat, cure, prevent, alleviate the symptoms of, or reduce the risk of developing a multitude of illnesses ranging from depression and anxiety to infertility and arthritis.
Based on these findings, TINA.org sent a warning letter to Goop urging the company to remedy the deceptive marketing issues. The group also provided the company’s lawyers with a list of URLs in TINA.org’s sampling of webpages containing unsubstantiated health claims.
Because the company made only limited changes to its marketing, with the vast majority of the examples catalogued by TINA.org still containing inappropriate health claims, the matter has been elevated to two district attorneys’ offices that are members of the California Food Drug and Medical Device Task Force for enforcement action. Last October, members of the task force reached a $1 million agreement with MyPillow after TINA.org supplied the task force with the findings of a deceptive marketing investigation into the pillow company.
To read more about TINA.org’s investigation of Goop’s marketing see:
If you are a member of the media looking to contact us, please email us at: [email protected]
Jesselyn Cook, NBC News
Katie Notopoulos, Buzzfeed News
Katie Deighton, The Wall Street Journal