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Posted June 21, 2005
Marketers of “Himalayan Diet Breakthrough” Settle FTC Charges of Deceptive Advertising
On June 20, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that AVS Marketing, Inc., and its president, William R. Heid, have agreed to pay $400,000 in consumer redress to settle FTC charges that they deceptively marketed a purported weight-loss pill called “Himalayan Diet Breakthrough.” According to the FTC, the defendants claimed the product causes rapid and substantial weight loss without the need to diet or exercise. The FTC alleged that the defendants’ ads for the product used five of the seven bogus “Red Flag” weight-loss claims. The ads appeared in the Dallas Morning News, the Albuquerque Journal, Hair Cut and Style, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the San Francisco Chronicle, and various other publications. The FTC’s ongoing “Red Flag” education campaign provides guidance to assist media outlets and others in spotting false claims in weight-loss ads. In addition to paying consumer redress, the settlement prohibits the defendants from misrepresenting the efficacy or safety of any food, drug, dietary supplement, device, or health-related program.