FTC’s New Year’s Resolution is to Trim Down Foul Weight Loss Marketing

I want to be skinnier in 2014. I want to eat less and better and exercise more – and ideally come across a remedy that magically helps me shed pounds instantly, with minimal effort. I’ll pay whatever I can afford. I’ll take it everywhere I go. I’ll Instagram, Tweet and Facebook it.

This is the topic that the Federal Trade Commission discussed yesterday at its press conference. It turns out that several companies have developed products with this audience in mind and promoted benefits that seemed too good to be true. Turns out they were.

These companies and products got hit with fines as part of the FTC’s law enforcement initiative to combat deceptive claims to weight loss products:

  • Sensa: claimed users can simply sprinkle, eat and lose weight
  • L’Occitane: claimed skin cream slims down your body
  • HCG Diet Direct: marketed unproven human hormone
  • LeanSpa, LLC: promoted weight loss supplements through fake news websites

The companies will pay a combined $34 million to settle these charges. Ouch.

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