Home > Uncategorized > Airborne Settles Suit over False Advertising

Airborne Settles Suit over False Advertising

Though an older issue, I came across it and remembered the story. The dietary supplement, Airborne, created by a school teacher, originally claimed to be able to prevent and fight off the common cold. After some investigation, it was found that there had never been a scientific experiment to render any evidence that this product could actuallydo as it says. Airborne was sued on the terms of false advertisment. The makers of Airborne would not admit that they did anything wrong, but oddly enough, they paid $23.3 million to settle the suit and offered refunds to anyone who could prove they purchased the product. In addition, they changed the claims on the products box to say “boosts your immune system”. People still swear by the product that it does in fact fight the cold, but others will argue that these people would find the same results from a placebo. I wonder if tests have been done to this supplement to prove anything further. I also feel that the makers of Airborne only had good intentions in selling their product. Some may argue that the false claims were intended to increase sales but I feel that the makers may have just been unaware of all the ins and outs of entering this business. The following link goes into a little more detail.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=87937907

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. getpaid22
    September 17, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    I have not tried the product “Airborne” however I have heard about it, as being the medicine a teacher developed. It being a OTC drug I just assumed that the proper test have been conducted in order for it to be available to the public. I think the company has done a great job of clean-up considering it changed it slogan on the box and has offered refund to those who bought the product under the misrepresentation. (not to mention the $22 million dollar payout.)

  2. D.E. Witt
    September 24, 2009 at 7:54 am

    I read an interesting discussion of this a while ago, which I unfortunately can’t find again.

    The article I can’t find discussed how Airborne used the lack of credibility of the product developers as an asset rather than a fault. Instead of admitting that the developers had no relevant training or knowledge, they used their lack of expertise as a folksy selling point: “Developed by a schoolteacher!” No disrespect to schoolteachers, of course, but I’d rather trust doctors and pharmaceutical researchers to develop drugs.

    Of course, if the product works, it works! But the data suggests it doesn’t, and the original studies done to establish claims of efficacy were cooked-up in an irresponsible manner.

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