FTC Takes Aim at Deceptive Ads for Fad Weight-Loss Products

The Federal Trade Commission announced today a law enforcement initiative, called “Operation Failed Resolution,” aimed at stopping marketers that use deceptive advertising claims to sell weight-loss products. At the same time, the FTC announced settlements in cases it brought against four different weight-loss companies.

For example, ads Sensa promised that, with their product, consumers could “sprinkle, eat, and lose weight” and “Get a gym body without going to the gym.” Sensa has now agreed to pay to the FTC $26.5 million to settle charges that it deceived consumers with false and misleading claims. The FTC will use the money to provide refunds to consumers.

At the Washington Post’s Wonkblog, though, Lydia DePillis asks whether the FTC’s efforts are really paying off. She notes that “weight-loss companies seem not to be dissuaded by some of them getting busted once in a while” and that “traditional media have lost control of the advertising market.”

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