Lumosity, an online service and app that purports to improve brain function, has hit it big in the past year, bringing in lots of revenue through advertising on multiple mediums including television, radio and social media. However, they are getting in trouble with the FTC for making false claims about what their Lumosity product can do for your brain, and they’ve got to pay up to the tune of $2 million. Lumosity had already made a large sum of money because many of its members, of which there are over 60 million, have been paying upwards of $120 per year to play the cute little puzzle games that are supposed to increase your brain sharpness.
Jessica Rich, Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the FTC said that “Lumosity preyed on consumers’ fears about age-related cognitive decline, suggesting their games could stave off memory loss, dementia, and even Alzheimer’s disease, but Lumosity simply did not have the science to back up its ads.”
Since this investigation by the FTC, even the CEO of Lumosity has come out and said that “the jury is out” on the efficacy of Lumosity products in “brain training” as they call it. He said that since the ruling, Lumosity has shifted its focus and wants to become a platform for research on the topic they once set out to be on top of, cognitive training. It seems they have actually been leaning towards this feeling since the end of 2014 when a study performed by the Stanford Center on Longevity revealed that there wasn’t any significant effect of playing these games on cognitive functions.
As part of the settlement, anyone who has used Lumosity’s recurring subscription service from 2009 until 2014 will be notified, and will be given an easy way to cancel their subscription. Before you make claims about your business or product, make sure that you have the science and results to back it up, because you do not want to end up like Lumosity or LifeLock.
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