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Thursday
Apr072011

Oreck Must Pay FTC $750K, Stop Health Claims  

Adam Gault/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Oreck Corporation claimed its Halo vacuum and ProShield Plus air cleaner could prevent illness.  Now, the Federal Trade Commission announced Thursday that the company has agreed to stop making these "allegedly false and unproven claims" and will pay the FTC $750,000.

Oreck began advertising the two appliances together during the 2009 holiday season, calling them the "Oreck Flu Fighters," according to Consumer Reports.  The ads claimed that using both the $400 air cleaner and the $600 vacuum together would "help reduce the flu on virtually any surface and in the air in your home."

It was not long after Oreck introduced the pair of appliances that Dyson challenged their health claims, filing complaints with the National Advertising Division (NAD), a branch of the Better Business Bureau.  NAD referred the case to the FTC when Oreck rejected the agency's review process.

Consumer Reports notes that both products have been tested at its in-house laboratory.  The Halo UVX was tested "the same way we test all models," the consumer buyer's guide said.  They said that a vacuum "need not kill pest as long as it removes them from the home."  However, the ProShield Plus, which was tested along with other air purifiers on the market, did not rate well.

Oreck no longer claims to kill germs on its website, Consumer Reports says.

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