Weight Loss Pill Ads Draw Costly Fine
Federal Trade Commission Says Marketers of Weight-Control Pills Made False Claims
Jan. 4, 2007 -- The marketers of four weight-control pills will pay $25
million in false advertising claims alleged by the Federal Trade Commission
The FTC today announced that marketers of the four products -- Xenadrine
EFX, CortiSlim, TrimSpa, and One-A-Day WeightSmart -- settled their cases and
agreed to limit their future advertising claims.
"The common theme in these cases is the marketers made claims that their
products contain new, breakthrough ingredients which are proven to cause weight
lossweight loss or control
weight. But the claims aren't supported by sound science," FTC Chairman
Deborah Platt Majoras told reporters in a teleconference.
"Paying for fad science and miracle ingredients is a good way to lose
nothing but your cash," Majoras says.
"Our advice for anyone who wants to lose weight in 2007, and we think
there are about 70 million of us out there, is focus on increasing your
physical activity and on cutting your calories as part of a healthy diet,"
"It's just that simple," she continues. "Keep your goals
realistic -- but you're not going to find weight loss in a bottle of
No Admission of Guilt
WebMD contacted the makers of the products involved in the settlements.
Bayer HealthCare, which markets the One-A-Day WeightSmart multivitamin,
tells WebMD in an e-mail that Bayer "stands behind its One-A-Day
WeightSmart multivitamin and fully believes that all claims made in the
marketing of the product are well substantiated and supported."
Bayer says it agreed to the FTC settlement "without any admission of
guilt or wrongdoing" and stresses that its One-A-Day WeightSmart vitamin
isn't a weight loss product.
Bayer also states that it "strongly disagrees with the Federal Trade
Commission's description of our company in this settlement announcement as a
'major marketer of weight-loss pills.' We believe this description is
None of the other companies involved in the settlements responded to WebMD's
request for comments by publishing time.