A final settlement was reached Wednesday between the Federal Trade Commission and three men who all claimed their smartphone apps could cure acne. All three will pay hefty fines to the federal agency.
Science claims debunked
Two of those charged were Dr. Gregory Pearson, a dermatologist in Houston, Texas, and his business partner Koby Brown. Together they marketed AcneApp on the iTunes store. The app claimed to be based on a British Journal of Dermatology showing how certain kinds of light can reduce acne. However, according to Dr. Gary Goldenberg, assistant professor of dermatology and pathology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, “The app does not use a correct light source and doesn’t have enough strength to help.”
Pearson’s lawyer, Sesha Kalapatapu, said in his defense:
“Dr. Pearson had seen some studies that showed that certain segments of the spectrum of light have medicinal properties, particularly with respect to acne. There are some new treatments out there and he thought it would be fun and interesting to make an app for it. So he teamed up with a software developer, just something on the side for fun.”
Not so much fun
That fun turned into a profitable concern. The app was downloaded by 11,600 consumers at $1.99 a pop. As a result, Person and Brown are now barred from “misrepresenting research, tests, or studies,” and have been ordered to pay $14,294.
Claimed to ‘kill acne’
Andrew Finkle was also named in the settlement for his similar but unrelated app Acne Pwner. The app was also light-based and was downloaded by 3,300 consumers from the Android Marketplace. The download cost 99 cents. Finkle’s marketing material claimed his app would “kill acne.” He has been ordered to pay $1,700 and is likewise barred from the misrepresentation of scientific information.
Federal Trade Commission Chairman, Jon Leibowitz said of the settlements:
“Smartphones make our lives easier in countless ways. But unfortunately when it comes to curing acne, there’s no app for that.”
If you are looking for the best iPhone developers we have some helpful information about the iPhone application development process that you may want to read.
If you are looking to conduct business on the cutting edge of technology you are definitely going to want to read more about how our Android app developers can make it happen.
Having an app in the market places is just not enough. Many times those apps need somewhere to send traffic. Your mobile web app strategy is key so don't miss out on this valuable information.