FTC Announces "Dream Away" Diet Pill Marketer Agrees to
Disgorge $1.1 Million in Settlement of False Advertising Case
FTC News Release
June 6, 1988
The Federal Trade Commission announced today that the marketer of Dream Away diet pills has agreed to disgorge $1.1 million because of false advertising claims that taking Dream Away would enable consumers to lose weight while sleeping and without exercising or dieting. The settlement will be filed in federal court today.
The Commission filed a complaint in US District Court for the District of Arizona, in Phoenix, in January, charging four companies and three individuals with false, deceptive and unsubstantiated advertising. At that time, the court issued a temporary restraining order putting an immediate stop to the ad claims and froze the assets of the companies and individuals.
The defendants made such claims for Dream Away and Advanced Dream Away as: "Just take Dream Away before going to bed. You will wake up the next morning slimmer, trimmer, and looking better than you did before." They charged $19.95 for a 21-day supply of pills consisting of small amounts of amino acids found in abundance in ordinary diets.
The Commission's complaint charged that, in fact, the product does not cause weight loss at all, while sleeping, or in a short period of time. Dream Away also does not cause weight loss without dieting or exercising, and does not contribute to the weight loss effects of dieting or exercising, the complaint alleged.
Under the settlement to be filed today, Nutri Marketing, which sells the pills, has agreed to put $1,100,000 into an escrow account. The Commission may use this money to pay direct refunds to consumers who bought Dream Away and Advanced Dream Away. If Nutri Marketing defaults on the payment or is placed in bankruptcy, the remaining defendants have agreed to make the payment.
In addition, under the final judgment and order, the defendants have agreed not to:
- misrepresent the performance, efficacy, or safety of any food, drug, or device;
- make any representation concerning the performance, efficacy, or safety of any food, drug, or device, unless they have a reasonable basis to substantiate the claim; and
- represent that Dream Away, Advanced Dream Away, or any other comparable amino acid product causes, or substantially contributes to, a loss of weight.
In addition, the defendants agreed to disclose prominently that dieting and/or exercise is required in order to lose weight, in any ads for weight control or reduction products, programs or services.
Consumers who think they are eligible for refunds should contact the FTC by writing to Nancy Warder, FTC, Washington, DC 20580. The Commission staff said that it already has a list of 50,000 past customers, but that many more are probably eligible. The final judgment and order names Kingsbridge Media & Marketing Inc. and Frank E. Robinson, both of Van Nuys, CA; and Highcliff Inc., Nutri Marketing, Vista Advertising, Mel Korey and Steve Korey, all of Scottsdale, AZ.
- Civil Action No. CIV-88-0003 (District of Arizona). FTC Matter No. X88-0002. FTC File No. 72-3141.
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