On November 24, 2015, the Attorney General for the State of New York announced a settlement with Planet Fitness Holdings, LLC and its subsidiaries, Pla-Fit Franchise, LLC (together “Planet Fitness”) concerning Planet Fitness’s marketing of its tanning services. Among other things, Planet Fitness agreed to stop making health-related claims in promoting its red lamp tanning devices. Planet Fitness will also pay the State of New York $50,000 in costs and penalties.
How did Planet Fitness’s Marketing Violate New York State Law?
Planet Fitness Settles Marketing Dispute with NY Attorney General
Pursuant to the terms of the agreement with the New York Attorney General, Planet Fitness will no longer offer unlimited tanning as part of its health club benefits. In addition, Planet Fitness will comply with New York State law and offer information sheets to its patrons concerning the health dangers associated with tanning.
Importantly, Planet Fitness has agreed to stop touting health benefits associated with its red lamp tanning devices. According to the New York State Attorney General, some Planet Fitness locations advertised that their red light “Beauty Angel” tanning treatments offered various health-related benefits. However, according to the Attorney General, the Food and Drug Administration has only approved red lamp tanning devices for cosmetic purposes.
Marketers must be mindful of federal and state laws applicable to the marketing of various health-related products and services. This is particularly true where the products and services are either unique or controversial (such as indoor tanning equipment).