FTC Charges Marketers of "Diet Patch" Misrepresented
Its Efficacy and Used Deceptive "Infomercial"
Consent Agreements Settle Charges
FTC News Release
December 27, 1990
The Federal Trade Commission has charged two individuals with making false and unsubstantiated claims for the EuroTrym Diet Patch, a purported weight-loss product, and with falsely representing that a program-length commercial was something other than a paid commercial. Under consent agreements announced today for public comment, Richard Crew and Robert Francis agreed not to make unsubstantiated efficacy claims for any product or service and not to misrepresent that a paid advertisement is an independent program.
The "infomercial," called "The Michael Reagan Show," was produced by Twin Star Productions, Inc. In April, the FTC announced a consent agreement with Twin Star Productions, concerning this and three other infomercials.
Crew and Francis, both of Cape Coral, Fla., contracted with Twin Star to produce the Diet Patch commercial and collaborated on its contents. According to the complaints, Crew and Francis, falsely claimed that the Diet Patch prevents feelings of hunger and enables users to lose substantial amounts of weight or to lose weight in a large majority of cases. They also falsely claimed that competent and reliable tests or studies show that the Diet Patch promotes weight loss. The complaints further allege that the respondents did not have any substantiation for these claims.
Under the consent agreements, Crew and Francis are prohibited from making any efficacy claims for the Diet Patch or any similar weight-control product or service. They may not make efficacy claims for other weight-control products or services, or any other product or service, unless those claims are substantiated.
The agreements also prohibit the respondents from disseminating or broadcasting "The Michael Reagan Show" as an independent consumer program. In addition, they cannot represent that any commercial is an independent program and not a paid advertisement. In any commercial 15 minutes or longer, they must include one or more disclaimers that the program is a paid advertisement for the particular product or service being advertised.
The investigation was handled by the FTC's Seattle Regional Office.
- FTC File No. 882-3199.
Related News Release
This page was posted on August 27, 2006.