Ad for memory pill accused of deceptive practices - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Ad for memory pill accused of deceptive practices

The ad is under scrutiny for what it does - and does not - say in the fine print. (Source: WAFF) The ad is under scrutiny for what it does - and does not - say in the fine print. (Source: WAFF)

A company accused of misleading customers and not responding to complaints has gotten the attention of the Better Business Bureau. The company has placed advertisements in Tennessee Valley-area newspapers.

The company advertises a memory formula and took out a full-page ad that resembles a news article. The BBB warns – before you give them any cash, you need to be cautious and ask lots of questions.

Consumers are getting smarter, with many checking with the experts before falling for something that could be too good to be true.

Michele Mason with the BBB said deception comes in all forms. In the case of Procera Brain Research Labs, the problem comes with an ad designed to look like a genuine newspaper article. They advertise a new, "groundbreaking pill" intending to improve your memory.

The company has an "F" rating with the BBB. Mason said, as with any other claim, you need to check the fine print. The article admits the product is not approved by the Food & Drug Administration – something Mason said consumers should be curious about.

"We would certainly like to see what the FDA says about their product," Mason said.

The article also talks about a free 30-day trial. But after calling the company ourselves, the person on the other end of the line states you first have to buy a month's supply before anything is free.

"There should be something telling you there is a condition here," Mason said.

According to the Federal Trade Commission guidelines, unfair or misleading advertising is illegal. The BBB said it is unethical, as well. The BBB's Voluntary Code of Advertising says the word "free" may only be used if the company offers an unconditional free gift.

Mason said customer complaints also include concerns with the company's money-back guarantee – complaints the company has yet to respond to.

The company was the subject of a class-action lawsuit (PDF) filed against the company, which was settled in 2012.

We have emailed and called the company about a half-dozen times within the last week, and our questions were not answered. A customer service director from the company responded to an email Tuesday, saying he would pass along our email to business leaders.

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