Ftc Cracking Down On Phony Web "News"
The Federal Trade Commission is taking action against websites that give the appearance of being actual news sites but are in fact touting dubious health claims for products like açaí berry weight-loss pills and other food supplements. Ads for the websites are often placed next to legitimate news on sites and give the appearance of being part of the sites. Indeed, the ads themselves display the logos of ABC, Fox News, CBS, CNN and others. One banner reads "Consumer News Reporter," and a graphic next to it reads "Health News." Video on the site looks as if it were shot on a news set with actual news anchors touting the results of "investigations" of the products. "Almost everything about these sites is fake," David Vladeck, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. Simultaneously, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed suit against Ishmael Lopez Jr. for operating several sites touting the health and weight-loss benefits of the açaí berries. Among his websites thecnnews.org, cnnewsat6.com, and newsline07.com.