Someone Should Sue Luminosity! Sales Lies and Brain Training

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The Federal Trade Commission orders Focus Education to stop making unsubstantiated brain training claims

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Mak­ers of Jun­gle Rangers Com­puter Game for Kids Set­tle FTC Charges that They Deceived Con­sumers with Base­less “Brain Train­ing” Claims (Fed­eral Trade Commission):

A Texas com­pany and its offi­cers must stop mak­ing unsub­stan­ti­ated claims that their com­puter game, Jun­gle Rangers, per­ma­nently improves children’s focus, mem­ory, atten­tion, behav­ior, and school per­for­mance, includ­ing for chil­dren with atten­tion deficit hyper­ac­tiv­ity dis­or­der (ADHD), under a Fed­eral Trade Com­mis­sion set­tle­ment

The FTC’s admin­is­tra­tive com­plaint states that Focus Edu­ca­tion, its chief exec­u­tive offi­cer, Michael Apstein, and its chief finan­cial offi­cer, John Able, have mar­keted and sold the ifo­cus Sys­tem, includ­ing the Jun­gle Rangers com­puter game, via tele­vi­sion infomer­cials and the company’s web­sites for $214.75 plus tax, gen­er­at­ing sales of approx­i­mately $4.5 mil­lion between 2012 and the mid­dle of 2013.

The adver­tise­ments claimed that Jun­gle Rangers had “sci­en­tif­i­cally proven mem­ory and atten­tion brain train­ing exer­cises, designed to improve focus, con­cen­tra­tion and mem­ory” and touted the soft­ware as giv­ing chil­dren “the abil­ity to focus, com­plete school work, home­work, and to stay on task.” Focus Education’s web­site implied that these ben­e­fits would be permanent…

The FTC has charged that Focus Edu­ca­tion and its offi­cers vio­lated the FTC Act by mak­ing false or unsub­stan­ti­ated claims that the ifo­cus Sys­tem per­ma­nently improves children’s focus, mem­ory, atten­tion, behav­ior, and/or school per­for­mance, includ­ing in chil­dren with ADHD. The com­pany also allegedly falsely claimed that these ben­e­fits were sci­en­tif­i­cally proven.”

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