Gwenyth Paltrow's company, Goop, settled a lawsuit this week brought by 10 California counties for false advertising after numerous medical and consumer protection groups complained that their products didn't do what they claim they could.
Goop agreed to pay $145,000 in fines as well as refund customers that bought three of its products: the Jade Egg, the Rose Quartz Egg, and the Inner Judge Flower Essence Blend. The first two are egg-shaped products that are vaginally inserted and left for varying lengths of time to balance hormones, regulate menstrual cycles, prevent uterine prolapse, and increase bladder control. Wow -- talk about a panacea! The Inner Judge Flower Essence Blend is a blend of essential oils that can either be consumed or put in bathwater. Goop claimed it counteracted depression.
No Scientific Evidence of Forum's Claims
According to the lawsuit, plaintiffs contend that "none of these products were scientifically tested to prove what Goop claim they did." In Goop's settlement papers, it specifically agrees to no longer make any claims "regarding the efficacy or effects of any of its products without possessing competent and reliable scientific evidence that substantiates the claims."
However, Goop refuses to admit liability. But rather, Goop sees this as an "honest disagreement." The company believes that it provides a forum for practitioners to present their views and experiences regarding Goop products, and the company didn't think the forum amounted to advertising, which is governed by stricter laws than forums.
Other False Advertising Claims
Goop has been hit with numerous truth-in-advertising claims, stemming from both its own products as well as third party products it promotes on its site. In addition to the vaginal eggs and essential oil, other hotly contested products include crystal harmonics for infertility, black rose bar for psoriasis, wearable stickers for anxiety, and vitamin D3 for cancer. All total, over 50 claims have been made against Goop by professional groups for false advertising.
If you would like a refund for your Goop vaginal egg or essence blend, contact Goop customer service by calling 844-WTF-GOOP. If you are concerned that your website's forums may amount to advertising, and would like to steer clear of false advertisement claims, contact a local communications and media attorney, who can listen to your dilemma, and provide you with sound legal advice.