The Federal Trade Commission said yesterday that it had won its deceptive-claims case against SlimAmerica Inc., a direct response marketer of “Super Formula” diet products. The company and its principals, Frank J. Sarcone and Robert Wyman, were convicted of violating consumer protection laws by making false advertising claims about the efficacy of Super Formula, which was marketed through a toll-free number in such magazines as Ladies Home Journal, Cosmopolitan, and McCall’s Magazine.
The defendants were ordered by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to pay more than $8.3 million in consumer redress, and Sarcone and Wyman both were instructed to post multi-million dollar performance bonds before engaging in any business related to weight-loss products or services, or before engaging in the marketing of any product or services.
The FTC had filed the suit in 1997.
The ads, which also appeared in thousands of newspapers and on the Internet, claimed that users of the product could lose up to 49 pounds in 29 days trim inches off their waistlines and thighs without dieting or exercising. In addition, the ads claimed that these results were validated by scientific research and supported by a physician.
SlimAmerica could not be reached for comment.