FTC Charges BodyFlex Infomercial Marketer

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The Federal Trade Commission announced a complaint yesterday against infomercial marketer Savvier Inc. and its on-air spokeswoman alleging false claims made in advertising for the BodyFlex workout system.

According to the FTC, Savvier's infomercials claimed that the 18-minute BodyFlex regimen of breathing, stretching and exercise would help consumers lose four to 14 inches of body fat from six body areas in seven days without reducing calories. Savvier said its claims were backed up by a clinical study, the FTC said.

The FTC has filed for a temporary restraining order in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles that would freeze Savvier's assets and prohibit it from making such claims. The FTC also asked the court for permanent injunctions against Savvier and to force the company to repay consumers who purchased BodyFlex.

Keith Greer, Savvier chief operating officer and chief financial officer, did not return a phone call yesterday. He and two other principals of the Van Nuys, CA, company were named in the complaint.

The DRTV campaign, which according to the FTC aired more than 2,000 times from February through December on national cable channels including Bravo, The History Channel and Home & Garden, reached third in the Jordan Whitney and Infomercial Monitoring Services rankings. Savvier spent $22 million on infomercial marketing for BodyFlex, the FTC said.

Savvier sold BodyFlex, which included a BodyFlex Gym Bar along with instructional materials, for $39.90 plus $14.95 shipping. The product also was available online via third-party retailers.

Greer Childers, whose weight-loss book "Be A Loser!" is available on Amazon.com, served as spokeswoman for the campaign and appeared on the infomercial as BodyFlex's creator, the FTC said. Childers has agreed to a temporary order freezing some of her assets and prohibiting her from making the claims she made in the infomercial and so is being treated separate from Savvier in the FTC complaint.

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