Ab Force Ruling Upheld

Share this article:
The Federal Trade Commission announced Friday a unanimous opinion and order holding respondents Telebrands Corp., TV Savings LLC and their principal, Ajit Khubani, liable for disseminating unsubstantiated and false advertising for the Ab Force.


The Ab Force is a belt-like device that uses electronic stimulation to cause involuntary contraction of the muscles of the abdominal wall. The respondents reaped $19 million from sales of the Ab Force, despite their admission that the product did not produce results, according to the FTC.


"This is a case about firm abs and phony ads," the FTC said in its opinion. "It illustrates how false and unsubstantiated claims can be communicated indirectly but with utter clarity -- to the detriment of consumers and in violation of the laws this commission enforces."


Based on its analysis of the Ab Force ads, the FTC concluded that the ads "clearly convey" the claims alleged in the administrative complaint. The FTC also determined that other evidence, including a copy test and expert testimony, confirmed the commission's analysis.


The complaint, filed Sept. 30, 2003, alleged that from December 2001 through at least April 2002, the respondents marketed the Ab Force on television, radio, the Internet and in print, claiming that it: 1) causes loss of weight, inches or fat; 2) creates well-defined abdominal muscles; and 3) is an effective alternative to conventional exercise.


The complaint charged that the claims were unsubstantiated and constituted an unfair or deceptive act or practice and false advertising in violation of sections 5 and 12 of the FTC Act.


The FTC's order requires the respondents to cease making any of the false and unsubstantiated statements made in the Ab Force ads, bars them from making similar claims in promoting or marketing the Ab Force or any similar device in the future, and requires that any claims they do make for the Ab Force or any other such device be substantiated by competent, reliable evidence.


Share this article:
You must be a registered member of Direct Marketing News to post a comment.
close

Next Article in News

Sign up to our newsletters

Follow us on Twitter @dmnews

Latest Jobs:

More in News

Candidates Offer Change In The Form of Targeting

Candidates Offer Change In The Form of Targeting

A campaign for Ben Carson raised $2.8 million despite his lack of cooperation.

Target Names Retail Veteran Brian Cornell as CEO

Target Names Retail Veteran Brian Cornell as CEO

He leaves the top job at PepsiCo Foods to take the spot vacated by Greg Steinhafel in the aftermath of the data breach.

NBA Names Insurance Exec as its CMO

NBA Names Insurance Exec as its CMO

Nationwide and State Farm veteran Pamela El takes the league's marketing helm next month.