Federal Court Bans Claims for Sham Cellulite Reduction Cream
Featured on National Spanish-Language Television
FTC News Release
March 10, 1995
A federal judge in California has permanently banned Silueta Distributors, Inc., a Chatsworth, California-based company, and its president, Stanley Klavir, from deceptively claiming that their "Sistema Silueta" cream and tablets will reduce cellulite. The court said that Sistema Silueta was nothing more than moisturizer and diuretic tablets, neither of which will cause cellulite loss. The court ordered the defendants to pay $169,339 in redress to the purchasers of Sistema Silueta, and prohibited the defendants from misrepresenting that Sistema Silueta will cause cellulite reduction.
The FTC complaint, filed in November 1993, charged the defendants with making false claims in television advertising run on Univision, a national Spanish-language television network, and on other Spanish-language stations across the country, promoting Sistema Silueta. The FTC alleged that the commercial falsely represented that the product will break down, reduce or eliminate cellulite or fat. The complaint also alleged that the defendants misrepresented that the testimonials used in ads and the testimonials the defendants represented in ads as being on file, reflected the typical experience of Silueta's customers. The court found that the undisputed material facts demonstrate that the defendants made these misrepresentations, and granted the FTC's request for a judgment without a trial.
The court also held defendant Klavir personally liable for his corporation's misrepresentations, because the evidence showed that "Klavir acted with a reckless indifference to the truth or falsity of the advertisement's misrepresentations or, at a minimum, that Klavir had an awareness of a high probability of fraud and intentionally avoided the truth."
The court entered the Final Judgment and Order for Permanent Injunction on Feb. 24, 1994. The order requires the defendants to pay $169,339, to be refunded to customers who purchased the cream and tablets, or, if that is not practicable, to be disgorged to the United States Treasury. The order also prohibits the defendants from representing that any product will reduce cellulite or fat, unless it is true and the defendants have competent and reliable scientific evidence to substantiate the representation. The order also includes a blanket prohibition against claims that Sistema Silueta cream or tablets, or any substantially similar product, will reduce, treat or eliminate cellulite or fat.
In adddition, the order prohibits the defendants from representing that any endorsement of a product or service represents the typical or ordinary experience of members of the public who use the product or service, or that the defendants' possess such an endorsement, unless such is the case.
Summary judgment was granted by Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong of the US District Circuit for the Northern District of California, in Oakland.
- United States District Court, Northern District of California. Civil Action No. C93-4141. FTC File No. 922-3343.
This page was posted on December 23, 2005.