Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals Inc., maker of the erectile dysfunction product Enzyte, known for its “Smiling Bob” ads, has reached a multi-state agreement with state attorneys general to pay $2.5 million for unsubstantiated product claims and deceptive business practices.
“Smiling Bob may have been happy, but customers were not,” said California Attorney General Bill Lockyer in a press release. “The defendants violated consumer protection laws that rest on a simple principle: business must deal with people fairly and honestly. This settlement will prevent further violations and compensate consumers harmed by the defendants’ practices.”
Lockyer and the attorneys generals of 17 other states and Washington, D.C., entered into the settlement with the Cincinnati-based supplement manufacturer March 2. According to Lockyer, the company made unsubstantiated claims about 10 of its products, including Enzyte, and deceived consumers by marketing 30-day trial orders as free and then automatically billing consumers.
In addition to the $2.5 million restitution, Berkeley agreed to pay the states a $2.5 million civil penalty if it fails to comply with the injunctive relief provisions or fails to pay the $2.5 million restitution.