FTC Settles With Creator of Dietary Supplement Ads

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The Federal Trade Commission settled charges with the creator of advertising for Gero Vita International's dietary supplements that is alleged to be false and misleading, the FTC said yesterday.

Chase Revel is to pay $27,500 for consumer redress and post a $1 million performance bond before advertising, marketing or selling any food, drug, dietary supplement, device or health-related service.

In the complaint, the FTC alleged that seven corporations, A. Glenn Braswell, Revel and three others used direct mail ads, including a bogus health-information magazine called the Journal of Longevity, to deceptively market five of their dietary supplements. Among the challenged products were supplements for respiratory problems, diabetes, anti-aging, weight loss and impotence.

The FTC said Revel is the final defendant to settle the charges. He is prohibited from using misleading ad formats, misleading or unsubstantiated expert endorsements and misleading scientific information.

The FTC this month banned Braswell, who owned Gero Vita International, from the direct response marketing of foods, unapproved drugs and dietary supplements. He already was under another consent decree resulting from alleged violations of the FTC Act and had to pay $1 million and turn over assets worth $3.5 million to settle charges.

Braswell has had run-ins with the law over the years. A large donor to the Republican Party, he also was among 140 felons whom President Clinton pardoned on his last day in office in January 2001. It later became public that attorney Hugh Rodham, brother of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-NY, had received money from Braswell and another felon for his help in obtaining a pardon. Hugh Rodham later returned the money.


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