UPDATED GUIDE:

  • In an effort to help media outlets spot false weight-loss claims in advertising, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has updated its guidance for broadcasters and publishers.
  • The new guide updates the “Red Flag Bogus Weight-Loss Claims” reference guide for media that was published back in 2003.
  • The information specifically identifies seven (7) weight loss claims that simply cannot be true and should trigger a “gut check” – that is, a second look to ensure that publishers are not running advertisements with claims that are known to be false.
  • Further, the guide also provides advice on handling difficult areas, such as consumer testimonials and fine print disclosures.
  • The FTC has asked publishers and broadcasters to share the revised guidance with their respective sales staff and to screen out diet ads that assert “gut check” claims. 

TAKE AWAY:

  • As we reported in this issue, FTC Settles Four "Fad Weight-Loss" Cases, the FTC recently announced settlements in four weight-loss cases: Sensa Products, LLC, L’Occitane, Inc., HCG Diet Direct, and LeanSpa, LLC.
  • The FTC is diligently pursuing cases where consumers have been misled by false product advertising claims promising significant weight-loss without the support of competent and reliable scientific evidence.