Airborne, Inc., Reaches Agreement With the Federal Trade Commission Over Older Advertising and Labeling of Products

2008-08-14 10:05:00

    BONITA SPRINGS, Fla., Aug. 14 /EMWNews/ -- Airborne, Inc., has

settled its case with the Federal Trade Commission over older advertising

and labeling of its dietary supplement products. The settlement provides

additional funding of up to $6.5 million for consumers who request refunds

as part of a class action lawsuit settlement.



    Airborne has denied wrongdoing or illegal conduct in both the class

action and before the Federal Trade Commission, but reached an agreement

with the FTC and agreed to settle the class action lawsuit, to avoid

continued expense and distraction from management of the business.



    "The additional funding is not a fine," says attorney Helene Jaffe who

represents Airborne. "The money represents additional dollars that Airborne

has agreed to set aside should more consumers file claims during the

designated claims period."



    "Consumers can feel confident that the advertising and labeling going

into the marketplace accurately reflects what Airborne products do," says

Airborne CEO Elise Donahue. "Our products help support the immune system.

In fact, the key ingredients in Airborne have been studied in scientific

research and reported in medical journals. Airborne is the same product

that millions of consumers swear by. Airborne, meanwhile, continues to be

the #1-selling immune support dietary supplement, and we're very proud of

this fact."



    U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips is considering final approval

of the $23.5 million settlement of a class action lawsuit that challenged

the older advertising and labeling of Airborne dietary supplements. On

November 29, 2007, Judge Phillips entered an order preliminarily approving

the proposed class action settlement reached between Airborne, Inc., and

the plaintiff, David Wilson of San Bernardino, Calif. The final hearing for

the proposed settlement occurred on June 16, 2008.



    The enhanced settlement fund of up to $30 million ($23.5 million for

the class action settlement and $6.5 million for the recent FTC settlement)

will be divided among consumers who joined the class action and filed for

refunds; the plaintiff; his attorneys, who include private practitioners in

California; and the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) in

Washington, D.C. A large share of the settlement will be distributed to

class action attorneys. The claims administrator will approve and pay

individual claims by October 15, 2008.



    "It's important to note that this is a settlement over older

advertising and labeling and has nothing to do with public safety," says

Donahue. "We've offered a money-back guarantee for our products since 1997

and we have millions of satisfied customers. A class action lawsuit sparked

this matter. We're just one of many major consumer brands across America

that are under assault by class action lawyers."



    Discussions with State Attorneys General Continuing



    In a related matter, Airborne attorneys are currently in discussion

with 28 state attorneys general to resolve their investigations into

Airborne's older advertising and labeling practices.



    The law firms of Weil, Gotshal & Manges in New York and Hyman, Phelps &

McNamara in Washington, D.C., are representing Airborne in all legal

matters.



    Because of the continuing nature of the legal matters, Airborne

management is respectfully declining any requests for media interviews.



    "Our main focus has been and always will be our consumers," Donahue

added. "We hear from people every day that support our product. Thousands

of our loyal consumers have called and written to us over the past few

months and we deeply appreciate all of their support. They are the heart

and soul of this company. We are committed to bringing them the

high-quality products they deserve."



    About Airborne, Inc.



    Airborne, Inc., is a privately held company based in Bonita Springs,

Fla. Former Procter & Gamble executive and Prestige Brands co-founder Elise

Donahue is CEO and joined the company in May 2005. She established

Airborne's first medical advisory board of academic and clinical experts

who are on the cutting edge of medical practice and natural product

science. They advise Airborne on the latest advances in clinical research,

ingredient safety and product formulation as they pertain to the Airborne

family of quality products. Airborne, Inc., was founded in Carmel, Calif.,

in 1997 by former second-grade teacher Victoria Knight-McDowell.



    About Airborne Products



    Airborne is a dietary supplement containing vitamins A, C and E,

magnesium, zinc and selenium. These vitamins and minerals help support the

immune system. Airborne products do not replace a balanced diet, eight

hours of sleep, regular exercise and a lower stress lifestyle, which also

help support your immune system. Airborne provides the necessary vitamins

and minerals, at the right formulation, that you might not get on your own,

given today's rushed and stressful lifestyle. If you are not 100 percent

satisfied with Airborne products you can get your money back. Airborne has

offered a 100 percent money-back guarantee since 1997. Millions of

consumers have tried Airborne for years and have been satisfied with the

results. For more information, visit http://www.airbornehealth.com .





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