It can be tempting, sometimes, to yearn for the days when natural selection would off people dumb enough to believe that inserting a jade egg into that place where the sun don’t shine will prevent uterine prolapse. Unfortunately, the invention of things like glasses and deodorant has made natural selection obsolete and that means when companies like Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop make false claims about their products, advertising watchdog groups will be there to set them straight.
TINA.org (Truth in Advertising), an advertising watchdog organization based in Connecticut, has filed an official complaint with two California district attorneys after finding multiple false or misleading claims Goop has made about its products.
A statement posted on the organization’s website Tuesday reads:
… a TINA.org investigation into Goop’s marketing has revealed more than 50 instances in which the company claims, either expressly or implicitly, that its products (or those it promotes) can treat, cure, prevent, alleviate the symptoms of, or reduce the risk of developing a number of ailments. These include crystal harmonics for infertility, rose flower essence tincture for depression, black rose bar for psoriasis, wearable stickers for anxiety, and vitamin D3 for cancer. The problem is that the company does not possess the competent and reliable scientific evidence required by law to make such claims.
The group also casts shade on Goop’s suggestion that one can cure insomnia by walking barefoot, a method Goop refers to as “earthing.” Unfortunately, as my mom would say, you can also get tetanus from a rusty nail by “earthing,” so keep those shoes on, ladies.
A Goop spokesperson responded to the organization’s allegations:
Goop is dedicated to introducing unique products and offerings and encouraging constructive conversation surrounding new ideas. We are receptive to feedback and consistently seek to improve the quality of the products and information referenced on our site. We responded promptly and in good faith to the initial outreach from representatives of TINA and hoped to engage with them to address their concerns. Unfortunately, they provided limited information and made threats under arbitrary deadlines which were not reasonable under the circumstances. Nevertheless, while we believe that TINA’s description of our interactions is misleading and their claims unsubstantiated and unfounded, we will continue to evaluate our products and our content and make those improvements that we believe are reasonable and necessary in the interests of our community of users.
Gwyneth Paltrow herself has not spoken out publicly about the situation but she has defended Goop in the past from sensible people making truthful statements about her fake products.
It’s not looking good for the wellness company. I’d recommend stocking up on their vaginal steamers should Goop go under in the near future.
Becky Scott is the editor of The Schmooze. Follow her on Twitter, @arr_scott