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Posted March 19, 2009
QVC Settles Charges of False Claims for Supplements
The agency alleged that QVC violated a 2000 FTC order barring it from making deceptive claims for dietary supplements. According to the Commission, QVC aired approximately 200 programs in which false and unsubstantiated claims were made about For Women Only weight-loss pills; Lite Bites weight-loss food bars and shakes; and Bee-Alive Royal Jelly energy supplements. In addition, the complaint charged that QVC violated Section 5 of the FTC Act by making unsubstantiated claims about Lipofactor Cellulite Target Lotion.
The settlement requires QVC to pay $6 million for consumer redress and a $1.5 million civil penalty. In addition, the settlement expands the prior FTC order and further bars QVC from making unsubstantiated claims that any drug or cosmetic eliminates or reduces a user’s cellulite.
“QVC aired ads that weren’t true and violated an FTC order,” said Eileen Harrington, Acting Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Simply put, we aren’t going to let QVC get away with this. The company is responsible for the product claims made on its programs, and we expect that going forward, QVC will do a better job for its audience and make sure that its programs are truthful and not deceptive.”
The advertisements allegedly included unsubstantiated claims that the weight-loss supplements could cause people to lose significant amounts of weight, maintain their weight loss for a long time, and prevent carbohydrates from being stored as fat; false claims that the weight-loss supplements could prevent dietary fat from being absorbed in peoples’ bodies; unsubstantiated claims that the energy-enhancing supplements could reduce fatigue and increase energy in people with severe fatigue and other physical ailments; and unsubstantiated claims that Lipofactor lotion could reduce cellulite, including measurable decreases in the sizes of individuals’ arms, legs, and abdomens.