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Brain training franchisor LearningRx settles FTC complaint about its marketing claims

BrainTraining_learningRxLearningRx To Pay $200K For Allegedly Unproven Claims That Brain Training Can Improve Income, Treat Autism & ADHD (Consumerist):

“The company behind the LearningRX “brain training” program has agreed to pay a $200,000 settlement and to stop making claims that its system is clinically proven to treat serious health conditions, or that it can dramatically improves a user’s IQ or income.

According to the complaint [PDF]…the company made numerous unsubstantiated claims in the marketing of its program…The FTC also accused LearningRx of making unproven statements regarding the program’s effectiveness in treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism, and patients who had suffered strokes, and other traumatic brain injury…the FTC took issue with the company’s behind the scenes marketing, noting that LearningRx “engaged in an extensive search engine campaign through Google AdWords, purchasing hundreds of keywords related to Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), autism, memory, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and traumatic brain injury, in order to induce consumers to click on Defendants’ sponsored links to LearningRx webpages.”

Among the keyword phrases paid for by LearningRx: “autism cure,” “Asperger cure,” “severe traumatic brain injury cure,” “Alzheimers cure,” and “is there a cure for dementia.”

For its part, LearningRx has issued a lengthy rebuttal to the FTC announcement, arguing that the FTC is not a scientific agency and that it shouldn’t be holding brain training claims up to the same rigorous standards applied to testing of pharmaceutical drugs.

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