‘Operation Failed Resolution’ was launched yesterday by the FTC to target deceptive advertising claims for ‘fad’ weight- loss products. The commission announced four law enforcement actions against Sensa Products, LLC, HCG Diet Direct, LLC, L’Occitane, Inc., and LeanSpa, LLC, which would recover about $34 million for consumers.
The initiative has been welcomed by leading industry figures. Marc Ullman, a partner in the firm Ullman, Shapiro & Ullman, LLP, told us that, for these particular companies, “this is very clear evidence of the risks of engaging in this type of baseless marketing designed to target vulnerable consumers.
“For industry in general, these cases should reinforce the need to ensure that you have substantiation for your claims and the importance of responsible marketing.”
The 7 Gut Check Claims
FTC has also compiled a list for media to spot false weight loss representations. FTC’s ‘Gut Check’ is a list of seven statements in ads that experts say simply can’t be true:
1. Causes weight loss of two pounds or more a week for a month or more without dieting or exercise;
2. Causes substantial weight loss no matter what or how much the consumer eats;
3. Causes permanent weight loss even after the consumer stops using product;
4. Blocks the absorption of fat or calories to enable consumers to lose substantial weight;
5. Safely enables consumers to lose more than three pounds per week for more than four weeks;
6. Causes substantial weight loss for all users; or
7. Causes substantial weight loss by wearing a product on the body or rubbing it into the skin.