Maine Diet Marketers Settle FTC Complaints

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Two Maine-based dietary supplement marketers and their principals agreed last week to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they made deceptive advertising claims about their products.

In separate actions, the FTC alleged that Pinnacle Marketing, Biddeford, ME, and VisionTel falsely advertised that dietary supplements caused substantial weight loss without diet or exercise. The FTC also accused VisionTel, Eliot, ME, of making unsubstantiated claims that its dietary supplements marketed for male and female sexual dysfunction were safe and effective.

Pinnacle and its principals agreed to pay $219,000 to settle the charges while VisionTel agreed to pay $750,000. Both companies and their principals agreed to stop making the challenged claims. The settlements require court approval.

Pinnacle advertised its "Ultra Carb" weight-loss system in radio ads, newspapers, panel ads on interactive programming guides on television and with an Internet coupon.

Pinnacle also did business as Health Remedies, Acadia Skin Care, Atlantic Skin Care, Atlantic Skin Care Products. The FTC names its principals as Todd Flaherty, Matthew Tasker and Kevin Curty.

VisionTel sold various dietary supplements and other products directly to consumers through ads on radio and television, print ads, infomercials and the Internet. The products in question were Chito-Trim, TurboTone, Impulse Female Herbal Blend and Maximus Male Herbal Blend.

The company did business under the names Vision Laboratories, Eliot, Maine; MJ Management, Scarborough, Maine; MAD Marketing Inc. and LLAD Management Inc., both in Cape Elizabeth, ME. Officers named in the charge were Michael McNaboe, Robert Dall and David Amato.

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