It's been a bad week for Telebrands, billed as the largest marketer of "As Seen on TV" products. The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus on Tuesday said Telebrands has discontinued claims for its Amish Secret Furniture Cleaner. That comes a day after the New Jersey attorney general's office announced a $550,000 legal settlement with the company that includes extensive changes to its marketing, ordering and payment practices.
In the case of Amish Secret, following a challenge by Johnson's Wax marketer SCJohnson and an inquiry from the NAD, Telebrands said it was discontinuing the ads for business reasons and "in the interest of expeditiously resolving the current challenge." But the company said it believes the advertising claims were truthful.
SCJ specifically challenged claims that furniture polishes are "a nasty, greasy mess" that "over time attract dust like a magnet," and that Amish Secret cleans away layers of built up wax and keeps wood furniture dust-free longer.
Some local TV reviews and YouTube reviewers found Amish Secret didn't work well. It's also not clear that it's actually based on an actual Amish secret, since the ad said it was "an innovation in wood polish developed to honor the Amish heritage in fine craftsmanship." But SCJ didn't challenge that claim.