Girls Gone Wild Seller Faces Charges

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Mantra Films, the marketer of the Girls Gone Wild video series, faces charges of deceptive marketing for allegedly shipping to customers new videos each month without their permission and then billing them.

The Federal Trade Commissioner and the Department of Justice Dec. 16 charged California-based Mantra and its chief executive Joseph R. Francis with unfair and deceptive practices, seeking civil penalties of up to $11,000 per violation. The complaint alleges that since December 2000, Mantra automatically enrolled consumers who responded to Internet and television advertising for a single video or DVD into so-called "continuity" programs. Mantra allegedly shipped additional unordered videos and DVDs on a "negative-option" basis, charging for each shipment until consumers took action to stop the shipments.

According to the complaint, the advertising failed to inform consumers how the continuity programs operated, failed to obtain consumers’ express consent to be enrolled, and did not give consumers an effective means to cancel shipments.

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