In addition to paying more than $1 million in civil penalties, the company may no longer promote its products as being able to treat or cure diseases, or advertise that the product is the “official pillow” of the National Sleep Foundation.
MyPillow made more than $50 million in 2014 and is well known for its nationally broadcast ads and infomercials featuring self-proclaimed “sleep expert” founder and CEO Mike Lindell pitching the pricey foam-filled pillows for a variety of disorders. TINA.org first published the results of its probe of MyPillow’s marketing practices in February 2016 at which time it also alerted Lindell that making claims that the pillows can be used to treat everything from insomnia to fibromyalgia is illegal without the backing of reliable scientific evidence.
Mirroring TINA.org’s findings, including MyPillow’s disease-treatment claims as well as the company’s cozy relationship with the National Sleep Foundation, California consumer protection officials alleged in a lawsuit that MyPillow “knew or reasonably should have known” that the marketing claims were likely to mislead consumers. Under the agreement, the company cannot make unsupported health claims in its marketing and must also discontinue promoting its product as the “official pillow” of the National Sleep Foundation after regulators found that MyPillow failed to disclose to consumers its “financial connection” with the foundation. The lawsuit was filed by the Alameda County district attorney’s office, a member of the multi- jurisdictional California Food, Drug and Medical Device Task Force.
In the wake of TINA.org’s investigation of the Minnesota pillow maker, three class-action lawsuits have also been filed against MyPillow, citing TINA.org’s reporting or referencing issues raised by the ad watchdog.
“Companies making millions from unsupported health claims that are warned by TINA.org to halt their deceptive marketing practices are going to pay a price if they don’t comply,” said TINA.org executive director Bonnie Patten.
To read more about TINA.org’s investigation of MyPillow’s deceptive marketing see: