December 9, 2003

Legislative Activity


Date:December 9, 2003

To:>AAF Members

From:Jeff Perlman, EVP-government affairs
Clark Rector, SVP-state government affairs
Jennifer Akridge, manager-government affairs

Re:Weight Loss Advertising Brochure


Earlier today, the Federal Trade Commission held a press conference to announce the publication of a reference guide for media on bogus weight loss claim detection. The FTC is asking the media to voluntarily use the brochure to help detect advertisements with deceptive weight loss claims and refuse to carry them.

The FTC has long been concerned with the proliferation of advertising for so-called miracle weight loss products. Yet the Commission acknowledges that sheer volume of the advertising makes it difficult, if not impossible, for the Commission to take action against every false ad. The brochure is intended to provide guidance to the media for review claims and "red flagging" those that make false claims.

The Commission identifies seven specific claims that are likely to be false:

  1. The product will cause weight loss of two pounds or more a week for a month or more without dieting or exercise.
  2. The product will cause substantial weight loss no matter what or how much the consumer eats.
  3. The product will cause permanent weight loss (even when the consumer stops using the product).
  4. The product will block the absorption of fat or calories to enable consumers to lose substantial weight.
  5. The product safely enables consumers to lose more than three pounds per week for more than four weeks.
  6. The product causes substantial weight loss for all users.
  7. The product will cause substantial weight loss by wearing it on the body or rubbing it into the skin.

For more information you can go to www.ftc.gov/redflagwhere the complete brochure will be posted. Please let us know if you have any comments or questions.