Weight-Loss Marketer Settles FTC Charges

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A Canadian company that sold weight-loss supplements via mail order agreed to settle federal charges that it made false and unsubstantiated claims in its advertising, the Federal Trade Commission said yesterday.

Bio Lab, Quebec, falsely claimed that its products would result in 2 pounds of permanent weight loss daily and was clinically proven to eliminate cellulite, the FTC said.

In the settlement, Bio Lab agreed to pay $40,000 to compensate customers and let the FTC take charge of mail containing consumer product orders valued at around $100,000 that is being held at Mail Boxes Etc. locations nationwide.

The company marketed the products Quick Slim and Cellu-Fight via direct mail, Internet ads and ads in Glamour and TV Guide magazines, according to the FTC. It also ran weekend newspaper coupon inserts in the Dallas Morning News, San Francisco Examiner, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post, according to the FTC.

The FTC announced the charges against Bio Lab in September 2002 along with the release of a study showing that more than half of all ads for weight-loss products contain questionable claims and that 40 percent contain at least one claim that is almost certainly an outright falsehood.

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