My Pillow agrees to $1 million in penalties to settle suit over marketing claims
Tonight, millions of people will rest their heads on a pillow that's been promoted as the last pillow you'll ever buy. But, the makers of "MyPillow" just agreed to pay more than a million dollars to settle a lawsuit over deceptive marketing.
Pumped up sales pitches from founder Mike Lindell have helped rack up hundreds of millions in MyPillow sales. But, Consumer advocates at truthinadvertising.org launched an investigation over some of the claims. So did consumer protection officials in California. The allegations include misleading marketing and inappropriate health claims with no reliable scientific evidence.
Investigators say the company also touted MyPillow as the "Official Pillow of the National Sleep Foundation", but failed to disclose its financial connection with the group, as required by law. That claim is still on the company's website but under the settlement must come down by the end of January.
In agreeing to the settlement, MyPillow admits no wrongdoing. The penalties include $100,000 in charitable contributions.
My Pillow still faces two class action lawsuits over it's marketing.
One complaint filed in California, cites claims that inventor and founder Lindell was a "sleep expert" when according to investigators he "has no expertise in sleep science or medicine."
California investigators also say MyPillow promoted the product's ability to solve sleeping problems such as insomnia, snoring, neck and back pain.
The California class action also alleges that MyPillow used exerts from third party news organizations in it's marketing to make consumers believe the organizations endorse the product, when they do not.
A second class action out of Oregon accuses MyPillow of deceptively marketing it's "buy one get one free" promotions. The suit, filed in October, contends My Pillow inflated the price of one pillow so that consumers were actually buying two pillows at or near the regular price of two pillows.
A preliminary settlement in the California class action is expected to be approved in early 2017 with refunds of $5 dollars per household.
MyPillow provided the following statement by email in response to my request for comment:
“MyPillow is pleased to have reached an agreement with Alameda County. Our focus is, and always has been, on sharing MyPillow with as many people as possible. With this settlement, we are able to avoid a costly and drawn out court case and turn our attention back to our number one passion, our customers. As part of the settlement, MyPillow will make a $100,000 donation to nonprofit organizations in California that help the homeless and victims of domestic violence. We are pleased our restitution in this case includes giving back, which is a central part of the mission of MyPillow.” - Mike Lindell, inventor & CEO of MyPillow