Speed Reads

settlements

Lumosity hit with $2 million fine over 'brain training' ads

Under a $2 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, Lumos Labs, the company behind Lumosity and its "brain training" games, will make redress payments to customers and make it easier for them to cancel auto-renewal of the service.

In a statement released Tuesday, Jessica Rich, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said Lumosity "preyed on consumers' fears about age-related cognitive decline, suggesting their games could stave off memory loss, dementia, and even Alzheimer's disease. But Lumosity simply did not have the science to back up its ads."

In its complaint, the FTC said Lumosity bought hundreds of keywords connected to memory, dementia, and cognition to target consumers, and did not disclose that testimonials on its website were from contest winners, who received prizes like trips to San Francisco. Lumos Labs told NBC News "neither the action nor the settlement pertains to the rigor of our research or the quality of the products — it is a reflection of marketing language that has been discontinued."