Ab Energizer Settles With FTC

Marketers of the Ab Energizer, an ab-exercise belt, agreed to pay more than $2 million to settle charges of false advertising, the Federal Trade Commission said yesterday.

Electronic Products Distribution LLC, San Diego, and several related companies also agreed to restrictions on their marketing practices to avoid making false claims in the future, the FTC said. Of the $2 million to be paid by the companies, $1.4 million will go toward compensating consumers who bought the Ab Energizer.

The FTC initially brought cases against Electronic Products Distribution and other ab-belt marketers in 2002. At that time, several ab-belt products — devices that were worn around the waist — were appearing on DRTV spots nationwide.

The ab-belt marketers said that the products could tone abdominal muscles without a workout. However, the claims were not substantiated by research, the FTC said.

Other ab-belt marketers charged by the FTC have included Hudson Berkley Corp., Las Vegas, maker of the AbTronic belt, and United Fitness America. The FTC reached settlements with United Fitness America and Hudson Berkley in 2003.

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