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Enhancement Marketer Is Fined for False Advertising

July 25, 2006|David Haldane | Times Staff Writer

A company marketing penile enhancement pills has agreed to pay the Orange County district attorney's office $300,000 in civil penalties for false advertising and unfair business practices, a district attorney's spokeswoman said Monday.

Dish Direct Inc., also known as Maximizer Health Products Inc., which produces ExtenZe, will also stop making unsubstantiated advertising claims, honor refund requests and eliminate lead in their pills, which was making customers sick, Susan Kang Schroeder said.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday August 02, 2006 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 2 inches; 78 words Type of Material: Correction
Lead: An article in the July 25 California section reported incorrectly that the maker of a penile growth enhancer, Dish Direct Inc., also known as Maximizer Health Products Inc., agreed to eliminate lead in its product because it was making customers sick. In fact, no link was established between the lead and any illness; the company agreed to reduce the amount of lead because it exceeded legal limits, a spokeswoman for the Orange County district attorney's office said.

Schroeder said the company couldn't back up its claim that the pills caused users' penises to grow 27%.

The company came to the district attorney's attention, Schroeder said, after several customers in Laguna Beach complained to the Better Business Bureau that the pills were making them sick.

"We started watching the ads," she said.

The subsequent investigation, she said, revealed that the sickness was being caused by the product's lead content, which was beyond legal limits.

ExtenZe is marketed primarily on the Internet and through a telephone call center in Los Angeles County.

A call to that center Monday was not answered.

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