Kirstie Alley is facing a putative class action suit as a spokesperson for the Organic Liaison weight loss program, which the plaintiff alleges is “nothing more than run-of-the-mill fiber and calcium supplements.” Claims that the Organic Liaison products are “proven” to “designed to optimize” weight-loss results “quickly and easily,” “reduce cravings,” and “boost energy” are false and the use of “before” and “after” shots of Alley are deceptive, the plaintiff asserts.
In advertisements for the Organic Liaison products, Alley – who functions not just as celebrity spokesperson but also owner and/or board member of Organic Liaison LLC – claims to have lost 100 pounds while using the weight loss supplement program. But according to Marina Abramyan, who says she purchased the products in reliance upon the actress’s statements, Alley really lost her weight as a contestant on the reality television competition Dancing With the Stars. The television program tracked Alley’s weight loss as a result of hours and hours of dancing every day for several months while on a restricted calorie diet, according to the complaint.
In addition, the plaintiff alleges that although the Organic Liaison products claim to be “the first USDA Certified Organic Weight Loss Product,” the Department, in fact, did not certify the product as an effective weight loss program, but only as an “organic product.”
Calling the program “nothing more than a healthy deception,” Abramyan seeks an injunction as well as an unspecified amount of actual and punitive damages.
To read the complaint in Abramyan v. Organic Liaison, click here.
Why it matters: The suit makes two primary contentions: First, that the claims made by Alley and the manufacturer are false, misleading and lack any scientific substantiation. Second, that the defendants made material omissions in the ads by failing to disclose that because of Alley’s participation on DWTS and intense exercise regime, her results while using the product are not typical. But in a statement to Entertainment Tonight, a representative for Organic Liaison called the allegations in the suit “patently false.” “Ms. Alley participated in DWTS for only a short period of time during her approximately one and a half year participation in the Organic Liaison program; the vast majority of her weight loss had nothing to do with her participation in that show,” the spokesperson said. “It is Ms. Alley’s persistence over one and a half years on the Organic Liaison program, coupled with regular exercise, that lead to her dramatic weight loss over that time period; this is consistent with Organic Liaison’s advertising and representations, none of which create false net impressions to the reasonable consumer.”