Fine for influencer's miracle cure claims

The Consumer Rights Protection Center (PTAC) said May 8 it was issuing a fine of 15,000 euros against social media 'influencer' Vineta Meduņecka, the product distributor of the internet marketing company 'Coral Club'. 

PTAC had already warned about Meduņecka's activities since 2016, which involved pushing the claimed extraordinary health benefits of various nutritional supplements "including misleading statements about the medicinal properties of nutritional supplements".

According to PTAC, the influencer had been "claiming that the use of these products will cleanse the body and thus protect it from various diseases, including oncological ones. In addition, many of the mentioned products are also recommended for use by children".

As well as making unsubstantiated claims about cures and therapy, Meduņecka failed to mention that she was being paid to promote them. 

"After PTAC's repeated invitations to perform voluntary actions, the person has not taken measures to ensure that the commercial practices implemented by themselves comply with the requirements of regulatory acts. At the same time, the person has not cooperated with the institution in the administrative process," PTAC noted.

PTAC concluded that the violation was significant, especially taking into account Meduņecka's status as the owner and true beneficiary of a company called SIA "Smartlife" (according to the last publicly available annual report for the year 2021 of SIA "Smartlife" in the commercial register net turnover is EUR 82,997).

"When assessing the offense committed by the individual, PTAC has taken into account the offense's scope, nature, duration, impact on the legal interests of consumers (especially vulnerable groups of society – children and their parents, people with oncological diseases), the role of the person in the violation and the circumstances of the violation analyzed in the decision," PTAC said. 

The activities of Coral Club had been exposed by an investigation carried out by the Re:Baltica investigative journalism site which showed the "miraculous" properties of their products to expel parasites, cure diseases, and help children with autism.

The full PTAC decision can be found here.

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