Truth in Advertising (organization)

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Truth in Advertising
Formation2012; 7 years ago (2012)
Legal status501(c)(3) nonprofit
PurposeConsumer advocacy
Location ( is an independent, non-profit, advertising watchdog organization whose mission is to empower consumers to protect themselves and one another against false advertising and deceptive marketing.[1][2] was founded in 2012 and received its initial funding from Karen Pritzker and Michael Vlock through their Seedlings Foundation, which supports programs that nourish the physical and mental health of children and families, and fosters an educated and engaged citizenship.[3][4] is headed by Bonnie Patten, who has served as its Executive Director since its founding.[3][dead link]

Legal efforts and investigative journalism[edit]

On March 28, 2013, took action against NourishLife, LLC after finding that the company was using a number of deceptive marketing tactics to sell a potentially harmful supplement for children with speech delays.[5] The organization sent legal complaint letters to the company’s CEO as well as to the Federal Trade Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Illinois Attorney General, urging each of them to take action.[6] On Aug. 14, 2013, the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau recommended that the company discontinue and amend certain claims used to market the product. The company has since corrected its website and has begun amending its product packaging.[7][2][8]’s investigation and criticism of Vemma, which makes the energy drink Verve and enlists students ostensibly to sell its products, has been cited and quoted in New York Post articles[9][10] that raised questions about whether Vemma is running a legitimate multi-level marketing business or an illegal pyramid scheme. A subsequent class-action lawsuit against Vemma cited's reporting of numerous complaints about Vemma that have been submitted to the Federal Trade Commission.[11]

In 2017, Truth in Advertising investigated Goop and accused them of making deceptive health claims about the products they sell.[12][13]


  1. ^ Wall Street Journal Radio/WCBS Radio Joe Connolly, May 16, 2013
  2. ^ a b "Who's protecting the consumer?". Fox Business. 2013-10-11. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  3. ^ a b "A New Connecticut-Based Website Works to Uncover False Advertising" Archived 2016-03-05 at the Wayback Machine, Gregory B. Hlady,, April 3, 2013
  4. ^ "Seedlings Foundation, Branford, CT". Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  5. ^ "Company That Touted Products' Ability to Treat Children's Speech Disorders Settles FTC Charges It Deceived Consumers". Federal Trade Commission. 9 February 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  6. ^ "Complaint Letter to the FDA". 27 March 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  7. ^ "NourishLife revokes Speak claims to follow National Advertising Division recommendations", Maggie Hennessy, NutraIngredients, Oct. 15, 2013
  8. ^ "Snake oil for the 21st century; Health claims that are too good to be true”, September 2013
  9. ^ "Verve energy drink turning college students into sales force", Michelle Celarier, New York Post, Sept. 29, 2013
  10. ^ "Verve sweetens deal for college salesmen", Michelle Celarier, New York Post, Oct. 7, 2013
  11. ^ "Vemma Verge Energy Drink Billing Class Action Lawsuit", Anne Bucher, Top Class Actions, Nov. 18, 2013
  12. ^ "Gwyneth Paltrow's GOOP cited for "illegal health claims" by watchdog group: Truth in Advertising called GOOP's health claims "unsubstantiated" and "misleading"". August 24, 2017.
  13. ^ "Watchdog group accuses Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop of 'deceptive' marketing claims". ABC News. August 24, 2017.

Journalism about TINA[edit]

External links[edit]