Android developers who produce acne-treating apps have been warned by the FTC to stop making “baseless claims.”
The AcneApp and AcnePwner apps for Android and iPhone instructed their pimpled users to hold their smartphone screens to their face for several minutes every day so they could emit acne-terminating colours onto affected areas.
AcnePwner was downloaded a tragic 3,300 times from the Android Marketplace at a cost of 99 cents. iPhone users proved to be even more foolhardy however, as AcneApp received 11,600 downloads from the iTunes store for a pricey $1.99.
“Smartphones make our lives easier in countless ways, but unfortunately when it comes to curing acne, there’s no app for that,” commented FTC Chairman, Jon Leibowitz.
For those of you interested in AcneApp’s sales pitch it stated, “This app was developed by a dermatologist. A study published by the British Journal of Dermatology showed blue and red light treatments eliminated p-acne bacteria (a major cause of acne) and reduces skin blemishes by 76 per cent.”
As punishment for their misleading products, Koby Brown and Gregory W. Pearson (AcneApp), were ordered to pay $14,294 in damages, while Andrew N. Finkle (Acne Pwner) was ordered to pay $1,700. The marketers are also barred from making acne-treatment claims about their mobile apps and other medical devices, as well as the safety, performance, benefits, or efficacy claims about any device, without competent and reliable scientific evidence.
In other breaking news, ‘gullible’ has just been added to the Oxford English Dictionary app.