2 Million Vitamins

Did you read about the Disney/Marvel vitamin settlement?  Well apparently marketers of these vitamins were making false claims.  I find this pretty incredible.  I would almost bet that another company wanted to cause some damage to another company, or someone somewhere decided that they wanted to make a few bucks.  Good thing they don’t make mens and womens vitamins, or diet pills because there would probably be lots of lawsuits brought on for not performing to their expectation.

Here is an exerpt…

As part of its ongoing efforts to stop bogus health claims, the Federal Trade Commission has reached asettlement requiring major marketers of children’s vitamins to stop making false and unproven claims that their supplements promote healthy brain and eye development in children.  The companies have agreed to pay $2.1 million to provide refunds to consumers who purchased certain multivitamins in their Disney and Marvel Heroes line.

The FTC charged NBTY, Inc. and two subsidiaries, NatureSmart LLC andRexall Sundown, Inc., with making deceptive claims about the amount of DHA – an Omega-3 fatty acid – used in their line of Disney- and Marvel Heroes-licensed children’s multivitamin gummies and tablets.  The companies also made unsupported claims that a daily serving of the products promotes healthy brain and eye development in children, according to the FTC administrative complaint.

Sold by major retailers such as CVS Pharmacy, Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreens, Kroger, Kmart, Meijer, and Rite Aid, as well as online, the multivitamins featured characters such as the Disney Princesses, Winnie the Pooh, Finding Nemo, and Spider-Man.  Product packaging and print ads promoting the vitamins had bold graphics highlighting that theproducts contained DHA, but in reality, the products allegedly had only a trace amount of DHA.  While the vitamins’ packaging touted the purported health benefits of 100 milligrams of DHA, a daily serving of the Disney and Marvel multivitamins for children ages four years and older contained only one thousandth of that amount (0.1 mg or 100 mcg), according to the FTC’s complaint.

The FTC alleged that the packaging and ads for the Disney and Marvel multivitamins misrepresented that they contained a significant amount of DHA, and that NBTY, NatureSmart, and Rexall Sundown made unsubstantiated claims that the amount of DHA provided by the multivitamins promotes healthy brain and eye development in children.

The settlement:

  • bars NBTY, NatureSmart, and Rexall Sundown from misrepresenting the amount of any ingredient contained in any product.
  • bars them from misrepresenting that any ingredient, including DHA, promotes brain or eye health or provides any other health benefit, unless the claim is true and backed by competent and reliable scientific evidence.
  • specifies that any violations could subject the NBTY, NatureSmart, and Rexall Sundown to civil penalties.

A refund program to distribute the $2.1 million to purchasers of the Disney and Marvel multivitamins will be administered by the FTC.  The agency will reach out to affected consumers in the coming months.

The FTC vote to approve the administrative complaint and proposed consent order was 5-0.  The FTC will publish an announcement regarding the proposed consent order in the Federal Register shortly.  The proposed consent order will be subject to public comment for 30 days, beginning today and continuing through January 14, 2011, after which the FTC will decide whether to make it final.  Consumers can file a public comment online.  Copies of the complaint, the proposed consent agreement, and an analysis of the agreement to aid in public comment are available from both the FTC’s website at http://www.ftc.gov and the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.,Washington, DC 20580.

NOTE: The Commission issues an administrative complaint when it has reason to believethat the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest.  The complaint is not a finding or ruling that therespondents have actually violated the law.  A consent order is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by the respondents of a law violation.  When the Commission issues a consent order on a final basis, it carries the force of law with respect to future actions.  Each violation of such an order may result in a civil penalty of up to $16,000.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them.  To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).  The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,800 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.  The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.

Posted in Disney (General) | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Disney Buys Marvel

Disney_Character_Collage_by_ToonGenius

Media giant Disney has just finalized the purchase of the Marvel Entertainment name for $4Billion.

marvel-entertainment-heroes

Here is a copy of the article posted on Yahoo News…

LOS ANGELES – The Walt Disney Co. is punching its way into the universe of superheroes and their male fans with a deal announced Monday to acquire Marvel Entertainment Inc. for $4 billion, bringing characters such as Iron Man and Spider-Man into the family of Mickey Mouse and “Toy Story.”

The surprise cash-and-stock deal sent Spidey senses tingling in the comic book world. It could lead to new rides, movies, action figures and other outlets for Marvel’s 5,000 characters, although Marvel already was aggressively licensing its properties for such uses.

The deal won’t have benefits right away, and Disney stock sank on the news. Disney expects a short-term profit hit, and Marvel characters from X-Men to Daredevil are locked up in deals with other movie studios and theme parks. But Disney’s CEO, Robert Iger, promised an action-packed future.

“`Sparks will fly’ is the expression that comes to mind,” Iger told analysts.

Stan Lee, the 86-year-old co-creator of “Spider-Man” and many more of Marvel’s most famous characters, said he was thrilled to be informed of the marriage Monday morning.

“I love both companies,” he said. “From every point of view, this is a great match.”

The deal is expected to close by the end of the year and marks Disney’s biggest acquisition since it purchased Pixar Animation Studios Inc., the maker of “Up” and “Cars,” for $7.4 billion in stock in 2006.

Marvel would follow another storied comic book publisher into the arms of a media conglomerate. DC Comics, the home of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, was bought by Warner Bros. — now part of Time Warner Inc. — in 1969.

Buying Marvel is meant to improve Disney’s following among men and boys. Disney acknowledges it lost some of its footing with guys as it poured resources into female favorites such as “Hannah Montana” and the Jonas Brothers.

“Disney will have something guys grew up with and can experience with their kids, especially their sons,” said Gareb Shamus, whose company Wizard Entertainment Group runs several of the Comic-Con conventions around the nation.

Marvel TV shows already account for 20 hours per week of programming on Disney’s recently rebranded, boy-focused cable network, Disney XD, and that looks likely to increase, Iger said. The shows are “right in the wheelhouse for boys,” he said.

There will be some lag before Marvel’s trove of characters are fully developed at Disney, because of licensing deals Marvel has with other studios.

For example, Sony Corp.’s Columbia Pictures is developing the next three “Spider-Man” sequels, starting with “Spider-Man 4” set for a May 2011 release. News Corp.‘s 20th Century Fox has the long-term movie rights to the “X-Men,” “Fantastic Four,” “Silver Surfer” and “Daredevil” franchises.

Both studios maintain those rights in perpetuity unless they fail to make more movies.

Separately, Viacom Inc.‘s Paramount Pictures has a five-picture distribution deal for Marvel-made movies, the first of which will be “Iron Man 2,” set for release next May. Paramount said it expects to continue working with Marvel and Disney.

General Electric Co.’s Universal Studios has an attraction called Marvel Super Hero Island in Orlando, Fla., that will stay in existence as long as Universal wants to keep it there and follows the contract terms, Universal said.

Disney said it will honor and re-examine Marvel’s licensing deals upon expiration and may extend the profitable ones. Iger noted that when it bought Pixar, that company also had third-party licensing agreements that eventually expired, allowing the companies to move forward together.

Despite beginning to make its own movies, starting with “Iron Man” last year, licensing remained a key driver of Marvel’s $206 million in profit and $676 million in revenue last year. Iger said Disney could give Marvel broader global distribution and better relationships with retailers to sell Marvel products.

However, analyst David Joyce of Miller Tabak & Co. noted that the $4 billion offer was at “full price.”

Marvel shareholders will receive $30 per share in cash, plus 0.745 Disney shares for every Marvel share they own. That values each Marvel share at $50, a 29 percent premium over Friday’s closing stock price. The final ratio of cash and stock will be adjusted to ensure Disney stock makes up at least 40 percent of the final offer.

Marvel shares shot up $9.72, or 25 percent, to close at $48.37 on Monday. Disney shares fell 80 cents, or 3 percent, to $26.04.

Disney investors were probably unhappy that the deal will reduce earnings per share in the short term and might not turn positive until the company’s 2012 fiscal year. Disney’s earnings per share will drop partly because the company will issue 59 million new shares, and partly because Marvel plans to release two costly blockbusters, “Thor” and “The First Avenger: Captain America” in 2011. DVD sales of those films likely won’t roll in until fiscal 2012.

Disney said the boards of both companies have approved the transaction, but it will require an antitrust review and the approval of Marvel shareholders.

If it works out, Marvel’s chief executive, Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter, 66, will pocket a hefty payday. He snatched Marvel assets out of bankruptcy in 1998, in a deal that valued the company at around $450 million including debt, outmaneuvering investors Carl Icahn and Ronald Perelman. His 37 percent stake in Marvel is now worth about $1.5 billion.

With this transaction finalized I only wonder if Disney has plans to take over some of the things that Universal Studios has on their plate.

Posted in Disney News | Tagged , , | Leave a comment