Published On: Fri, Sep 1st, 2017

Phony Reviews Land Trampoline Company in FTC Crosshairs

Sonny and Bobby Le, the owners of several websites, including Trampoline Jumpers, Happy Trampoline and Infinity Trampolines, are being charged with false advertising. Lexology reports that the two brothers, who reside in Anaheim, California, have been targeted by the Federal Trade Commision (FTC).

Photo/Nodar Kherkheulidze via wikimedia commons

The brothers sold Infinity and Olympus Pro trampolines across their network of websites.

The brothers face charges for providing logos from websites that they own. The logos include “Trampoline Safety of America,” among numerous others. The FTC found that the Le brothers owned the independent reviews sites, which provided their “seal of approval” for trampolines that the brother’s sold.

Logos were designed to entice potential buyers to purchase trampolines that the brothers recommended.

The Le brothers created fake testimonials to sell their products and provided reviews from gymnastic coaches and structural engineers who didn’t exist. The brothers provided false information to consumers in an attempt to earn money from trampoline sales.

The marketing tactics led to two counts of false advertising brought by the FTC.

A settlement, reached between the FTC and the brothers, bars the brothers from further misrepresentation of any equipment they sell. Reviewing entities must be made from independent organizations.

The brothers can no longer provide objective information, in an effort to sell more products, pertaining to studies, research and tests on products.

Full disclosure must be made for all further review sites operated by the brothers.

The brothers’ deceit even led to the mention of the “Bureau of Trampoline Reviews.” The brothers used the websites to redirect consumers to their “expert reviews.” The brothers further broke the law by claiming one of their websites was a “third-party organization.”

The fake organization reportedly was involved in the study of “technical aspects” of major trampoline websites. The organization was also said to be comprised of gymnastic coaches and structural engineers.

Bobby Le was also found to have written his own reviews for products, stating the products had “strong frames” and also boosted about other product attributes. He did not disclose that he was selling the products which he provided false reviews for, or that the websites were owned by the Le brothers.

The complaint lists one comment, stating, “I found this trampoline on the Bureau of trampoline review [sic] and this is the best trampoline that I’ve ever owned. I had the jumpsport [sic] recently and It [sic] is not as advertised. Within 2 yrs. [sic] the frame started rusting. This crap is definitely china [sic] made. Don’t waste your money [sic].”

The FTC alleges that logos, claims and reviews were all faked by the Le brothers.

Exact details of the settlement between the two brothers and the FTC have not been disclosed. What we do know is that the brothers are required to disclose the connection between their company and their own products any time they provide an endorsement or review.

The trampolines that the brothers sell are sold for as much as $5,000. The websites, such as Happy Trampoline, which the brothers own, are still operational following the settlement.  The website no longer includes badges or logos from the brothers’ fake organizations.

Author: Jacob Maslow

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  1. Back To School Should Also Mean Back To Fun! says:

    […] for quiet family recreation can help your children blow off some steam after a busy school day. Looking for the best trampoline for your family might help your children expel some of that carefree fun, and tire them out before they head to […]

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