Advertising watchdog group Truth in Advertising (TINA) has zeroed in on Gwyneth Paltrow’s empire — and found more than 50 marketing claims that they find questionable about various product “cures” offered by the brand. They’ve taken these alleged “inappropriate health claims” to the courts, filing two complaints with California district attorneys urging them to take action.
Paltrow is the founder and owner of Goop, a growing “lifestyle brand” that provides recipes, gives wellness advice, and sells products to its millions of devotees. The site has faced criticism before — they’ve been laughed at for pretention, criticized for wealth bias, and pilloried for promoting a lifestyle unattainable to most people. Even Paltrow herself once admitted she was baffled by her own website’s content. “I don’t know what the f--- we talk about!” she exclaimed.
The skepticism was all in good fun, but TINA has brought up more serious concerns, with fingers pointed at false medical claims. Unlike the superficial offenses of its gaudy past, allegedly tricking consumers into buying products based on fabricated science crosses an important ethical boundary.
The action group asserts in the complaint that “the company uses unsubstantiated, and therefore deceptive, health and disease-treatment claims to market many of its products.”
TINA did its research. Their compilation of apparent offenses cites every link to the Goop product review in question, paired with a sample quote from the seemingly impossible claims. The site claimed that Jade Eggs, for example, “prevent uterine prolapse,” a serious health condition that can affect female fertility.
The truth stretched by these claims is far from innocent, TINA executive director, Bonnie Patten, explains. “Women that are having infertility problems are desperate to find a cure or treatment,” Patten told Today. “Goop is taking advantage of people at their most vulnerable positions.”
A representative for Goop has since stepped forward to issue a defense. “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,” the spokesperson stated. According to the company, it’s TINA that’s stretching the truth. “We believe that TINA’s description of our interactions is misleading and their claims unsubstantiated and unfounded.”
If the claims made by Goop’s reviews are in fact, false, TINA is right to draw attention — deceptive product marketing is illegal. “We will never recommend something that we don’t love and think worthy of your wallets and your time,” Goop’s website reads. “We value your trust above all things.” Since Gwyneth Paltrow has an army of products on her recommended list, we hope that holds true.