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Ads for kids’ supplements didn’t speak the truth

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When ads for products don’t tell the truth, you can bet the FTC will take notice.

Today, the FTC brought a case against NourishLife, a company that allegedly made unsupported and false claims about its Speak line of children’s supplements. According to the complaint, the company advertised that Speak products were clinically proven to support “normal and healthy speech development” for kids — including kids with verbal apraxia or those with autism spectrum disorder. The truth, the FTC says, is that the company didn’t have the proper scientific evidence to back up its claims.

These ads included testimonials from parents who touted the effectiveness of Speak supplements. One parent said, “Speak vitamins have made my little boy talk. He is five years old and has not spoken until I began giving him the vitamins… It took two days of giving them to him to hear him speak.” Sounds convincing. The problem? The FTC says the marketers had no support that children were likely to get the drastic results claimed by these parents. According to the FTC, the company also didn’t mention that they gave free products to some of these parents, which may have affected their testimonials. Here’s a takeaway for you: it’s never wise to rely solely on testimonials for proof that a product works.

Additionally, the FTC says NourishLife bought hundreds of Google keywords related to childhood speech disorder treatments. So if parents searched online for phrases like “help my child talk,” “autism treatment,” or “speech delay treatment,” ads for Speak products would appear. Remember, companies can buy search terms to trigger ads or sponsored links for any product to appear, no matter how well the product really works. So there’s no guarantee that the sponsored link at the top of your search results is for a product that actually does what you searched for.

It can be tricky to tell when a company isn’t telling the truth, so think critically when you see ads or product labels that make treatment claims. Check out our featured health information to learn more about decoding ads for health-related products.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness


The speak product contains undisclosed FDA approved drug substances, omega-3 acid ethyl esters. In addition, the dose far exceeds the FDA limit of 3 g/day omega-3.

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It worked for my daughter but I soon quit giving it to her when she began to have side effects such as runny diarhea everyday. Excuse the pun but it scared the poop out me....

I was home for summer to see nephew and niece. I was reading a magazine and saw this ad. So i decided to ordered. What a mistake

I would love to have this!!! (Money for my health issues and distress

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