Attorney General Warns Laundry Globe Distributors
To Stop Selling Products In Oregon
Attorney General Hardy Myers today announced that two companies responsible for producing and marketing a supposed alternative to laundry detergent known as The Laundry Solution, Globe or SuperGlobe will pay $190,000 to the Department of Justice and no longer will market the products in Oregon. Myers also warned individual distributors in Oregon to stop selling the products immediately.
Named in Assurances of Voluntary Compliance, which admit no law violations, are two Florida corporations, TradeNet Marketing, Inc. and TOP Marketing Business Consulting, Inc. TradeNet produced the products and TOP marketed them. Also named are TradeNet President L.W. Cooper of Palm Harbor, Florida and TOP Marketing President Erwin Annau of Clearwater, Florida. The assurances were filed today in Marion County Circuit Court.
A third Assurance, naming American Technologies Group, Inc. (ATG), of Monrovia, California, also was filed today in Marion County. ATG sold some product components to TradeNet.
"It is not easy for consumers to evaluate marketing claims based on supposed new scientific discoveries," Myers said. " As a result, it is often difficult to tell the latest technological advancement from the latest scam. My office became involved because these products were being marketed aggressively and their distributors were making improbable claims."
The Laundry Solution, also known as the "Blue Ball," consists of a plastic sphere containing a blue liquid. The balls are sold through local distributors who purchase them from TradeNet. In marketing the products, the companies first claimed that the sphere used specially treated "structured water" to emit a negative charge through the walls of the sphere. The companies further stated that when the sphere is used in a washing machine, the negative charge cleans clothes and eliminates the need for detergent. The companies later revised these claims in brochures distributed with the products. The printed information stated that the spheres now contained "IE (pronounced I-sub-E) Crystals" that, again, were supposed to enable the globes to clean clothes. The "globes" later were replaced by "SuperGlobes" that were supposed to be used with an additive that contained detergent.
Upon hearing the marketing claims, the Department of Justice obtained the various products and had them tested by a qualified, independent laboratory. Results of the tests indicated that the water in the spheres had no special characteristics. The "globe products" essentially contain nothing more than water, blue dye and a foaming additive contained within an impermeable plastic shell. The Department therefore concluded that the products do not constitute nor create a detergent substitute.
In addition to agreeing not to market The Laundry Solution nor related products in Oregon, TradeNet and TOP Marketing agree not to market nor sell any other products based on representations that the products use a scientific process to achieve results, unless the claims are fully substantiated by competent and reliable scientific testing. TradeNet and TOP Marketing also agreed to stop marketing "The Force," a product they claimed would improve automotive engine performance.
Of the $190,000 obtained by the Department of Justice, $65,000 will be used for restitution to consumers and $125,000 will fund future consumer protection and education activities. In addition, ATG agrees under the terms of its Assurance to add $20,000 to the restitution fund.
Restitution to Oregonians will be paid by the Department of Justice on a first come, first served basis and will be limited to $75 per person, the amount most people paid for the "blue ball." To receive restitution, the Department must receive proof of purchase from consumers no later than January 12, 1998. Proof of purchase consists of any one of the following: a receipt, a canceled check, the actual product, or an affidavit. Consumers should mail proof of purchase to: TradeNet Restitution, Financial Fraud Section, Oregon Department of Justice, 1162 Court Street NE, Salem, 97310. Consumers also may deliver proof of purchase or the products in person to the Financial Fraud offices on the first floor of the Robertson Building at 1215 State Street NE (corner of State and 12th streets) in Salem.
Consumers wanting more information on franchises, business opportunities, work-at-home schemes, multi-levels and pyramids can call the Attorney General's consumer hotline at (503) 378-4320 or (503) 229-5576 (Portland only) between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday. Information on these settlements and general consumer protection in Oregon also can be accessed on the Department of Justice Web-Page (www.doj.state.or.us).
CONTACT: Jan Margosian, (503) 378-4732 (media line only)
Web Author: Print Services.