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Helsinki Formula






The Helsinki Formula was a fake baldness cure sold via one of the world's first infomercials. The commercials for the substance began airing in 1985 under the title "Discover with Robert Vaughan". The commercials featured the testimony of the poetically named Doctor Ritua Ilona Schreck-Purola, ostensibly a pathologist at the University of Helsinki (Go U of H Ice Dogs! WOOF WOOF WHO LET THE DOGS OUT!)


The infomercials ran until 1990, when the company selling the product, the Pantron I Corporation, was sued by the FTC. In 1996, a judge ruled the Pantron I Corporation was making false and misleading claims. There was no credible evidence the Helsinki Formula stopped or reversed hair loss. The Pantron I Corporation was ordered to pay a settlement of $27 million.


Actor Robert Vaughan managed to sell $101 million worth of the ersatz substance (at $50 a bottle) during the infomercial's run.


 -- Karl Mamer





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