Category Archives: Weight loss

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Mobile App Settles Charges with FTC that it Broke Pact with Consumers

Last week, in an ironic twist of fate, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charged the operators of the Pact Mobile App, which paid consumers for keeping their fitness promises and charged consumers who missed their goals, for failing to honor its promises to consumers. According to the FTC’s complaint, when consumers signed up for the … Continue Reading

Look Out Below: FTC Brings Down the Avalanche

Readers know that the FTC frequently settles its cases through suspended judgments, where the full amount of the judgment is suspended based on the defendant’s ability to pay.  A recent case highlights the risks companies and individuals face if they fail to adequately disclose their assets to the FTC during settlement discussions. The FTC sued … Continue Reading

FTC Goes After Marketer for Unfair Consumer Gag Clause

The FTC, in its finest Valspeak, said “Gag Me With a Spoon” to a marketer’s practice of trying to silence negative reviews through contractual provisions with customers. As user reviews become more and more powerful in driving market share, regulators continue to pay attention.  In this recent action, the FTC filed suit against Florida-based marketers … Continue Reading

“Judicially Found to Help Prevent False Advertising Litigation”: Fourth Circuit Clarifies Requirements for Pleading a Dietary Supplement False Advertising Claim

On June 19, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued its decision in In re GNC Corporation; Triflex Products Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation (No. II), — F.3d –, No. 14-1724, 2015 WL 3798174 (4th Cir. June 19, 2015), handing a significant victory not just to the defendants in that multidistrict … Continue Reading

FTC Leads Charge Against Deceptive Affiliate Marketing Tactics

In recent years, affiliate marketing has emerged as a profitable medium to generate interest in a merchant’s products or services, with affiliate marketers often earning huge payouts for generating leads or sales for merchants.  The FTC has taken notice, filing a number of actions against affiliate marketers for violations of Section 5 of the FTC, … Continue Reading

Tough Pill to Swallow: Court Imposes Over $3 Million in Civil Penalties on Dietary Supplement Company

On March 31, 2015, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued an opinion, granting the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) motion for a final order providing injunctive relief, monetary relief, and civil penalties against Daniel Chapter One and James Feijo for making claims that Daniel Chapter One’s dietary supplements could treat, cure, … Continue Reading

The FTC Speaks Softly But Carries a Big Stick – Do Paid Search Terms Go Under the Microscope?

Are paid search terms about to receive a lot more Federal Trade Commission (FTC) attention?  That’s the question you could be asking after the FTC last week announced a settlement with Nourish Life LLC.  Defendants marketed a dietary supplement called Speak that contains among other things omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin E and vitamin … Continue Reading

FTC Says Companies Have a Fat Chance of Getting Away With Deceptive Online Marketing in First ROSCA Case

A free trial of a weight loss pill is the best of both worlds, right?  Not according to the FTC, which recently brought its first Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (ROSCA) case against a group of marketers who advertised exactly that. Weight loss substantiation is old territory for the Commission.  ROSCA, however, is not.  The … Continue Reading

Live (almost) from New York, It’s the NAD Annual Conference

We are close to live blogging from the annual NAD Advertising Law Conference and for those who could not join us, we wanted to share highlights from its opening — keynote speaker FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez.  The FTC typically uses this conference to lay out its enforcement priorities relevant to national advertisers and gives us … Continue Reading

A Journey into the Land of Dr. Oz: Congress Wants to Shed Weight Loss Scams

On June 17, 2014, Senators, staff, and the public were off to see Dr. Oz testify in Washington, and in the eyes of some Senators, this Oz may encourage as many deceptive tricks as his movie counterpart.  Senator Claire McCaskill, Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and … Continue Reading

Extra! Extra! Marketer Using Fake News Sites Has No Immunity from FTC!

The FTC has become increasingly aggressive in holding advertisers responsible for advertising claims made by their affiliate networks and marketers.  Indeed, just this week the FTC announced another settlement in a case that was part of the same “sweep” as the case discussed here. In July of 2012, the FTC amended its April 2011 complaint … Continue Reading

FTC Gives the Skinny on Weight Loss Testimonials and Substantiation

Listen up, all you fans of consumer testimonials!  The FTC has just confirmed that a “results will vary”-style disclaimer isn’t likely to disclaim anything in the eyes of a consumer. Instead, marketers must consider the “net impression” their testimonials convey. A subsidiary of diet plan marketer Medifast Inc. agreed to a $3.7 million settlement with … Continue Reading

You Could Have Heard A “Pin” Drop When NAD Rules Against Nutrisystem Social Media Use

Social media sites have been a boon for brand marketers over the past several years, and one of the latest big trends in social media – Pinterest.com – has generated buzz from a growing number of marketers as well as consumers. Pinterest users can “pin” images, including those from other websites, to the user’s “pinboard”. Users … Continue Reading
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