Airborne Will Offer Refunds Over Ad Claims

Maker of fizzy orange tablet settles with feds after cold-cure boasts
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2008 4:22 PM CDT

(Newser) – Airborne—the fizzy orange tablet long pitched as a way to cure and prevent the common cold—will refund consumers the price of up to six purchases because it has no evidence to back up those claims, the Washington Post reports. Under a deal cut yesterday, the company will add $6.5 million to the $23.5 million it agreed to pay earlier this year in a class-action lawsuit.

"There is no credible evidence that Airborne products will reduce the severity or duration of colds, or provide any tangible benefit for people who are exposed to germs in crowded places," said an FTC official. The company, whose sales jumped to more than $100 million a year in 2004 thanks to a push from Oprah Winfrey, notes "that this is a settlement over older advertising and labeling, and has nothing to do with public safety."