UrthBox, a subscription snack company, was charged with a complaint by the FTC due to misrepresenting positive consumer reviews on the Better Business Bureau’s and other third-party websites.
The FTC alleged that UrthBox did not disclose that some consumers received compensation, including free snack boxes, to post positive reviews.
In addition, UrthBox offered “free” trial boxes during this time that resulted in participants automatically being charged for six months of shipments due to unclear opt-out language. The FTC is now mailing 2,221 refund checks totaling over $84,000 to consumers who participated in this “free” trial. As a reminder to all advertisers, having appropriate disclosures surrounding automatically renewing contracts is governed by both state and federal law. Further, ensuring appropriate disclosures of material connections with advertisers are governed by the FTC’s Endorsement Guidelines.