The Texas Attorney General is suing an influencer who sold online fitness and nutrition plans.
The lawsuit says she sold the plans “with the promise of personalized nutritional guidance and individualized fitness coaching.”
The price of the plans ranged from $92 for a one-week program, to $300 for a 3-month regimen.
But the AG says “the online nutrition and fitness plans delivered to consumers were not individualized.”
They also alleged she “failed to provide the promised coaching and check-ins, … largely ignored consumer complaints, or offered only partial refunds.”
Instead, customers complained that the check-ins and feedback they received were “generic and non-substantive, e.g., ‘You’re killing it!’”
The lawsuit also alleges that she charged customers a shipping fee, even though the plans were emailed.
The customers joined the influencer’s Facebook group, where they were able to compare plans and, according to the lawsuit, realize that they received the same “individualized” plans despite having different goals and starting metrics.
So why post about this?
It’s an important reminder to pay attention to the claims you make about the products and services you offer.
There’s nothing inherently unlawful about selling off-the-shelf template nutrition or workout plans.
And it may seem obvious that if you call something “personalized,” then you need to tailor it to each person.
But it’s also common for brands and influencers to include a word or two in their ad copy that conveys a certain meaning—intentional or not—that a significant portion of their audience will rely on when making a purchase.
Those one or two words, if they don’t accurately describe the product or service being sold, can make the difference between a successful business and a lawsuit from the government or a class action from customers.
So, it’s a good idea to review all of your ad copy, especially if you are selling a plan or a course, to make sure that you aren’t overpromising or phrasing things in a way that might carry a meaning you didn’t intend.