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Old 01-03-2007, 06:30 PM   #1
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Post I heard this fad-diet ad on the radio last Saturday...

It was an ad for "The Every Other Day Diet" and it was patently awful. So awful that I have emailed several people in an attempt to get the ad pulled from the air or revised.

Perhaps I over-reacted, but I actually got a PHONE CALL from a Program Director at XM. Talk about shock. When the receptionist announced the call, I had to ask her to repeat herself.

Once I was on the phone with him I was shocked even further. He apologized for the ad and said he agreed with the point I was trying to make in my email! This may be hard to believe, but the man was incredibly sincere.

He explained to me that the particular station on which I heard the ad was not an XM station. It was a Clear Channel station that is broadcast via XM, therefore Clear Channel actually sold the air time to the advertiser. But he assured me he would pass my email along to XM's Clear Channel liaison and also encouraged me to contact Clear Channel directly.

I have emailed Clear Channel, as well as the manufacturer but have not yet received a response. However, its only been one day. Who knows what tomorrow will bring. I'll keep you updated, though.

Here's the email I sent to the manufacturer... (Its basically the same thing I said to XM and Clear Channel, but a little more stern. Whereas I wanted XM and Clear Channel on *my side*, I wanted to knock the manufacturer upside the head.) -Edited for Privacy Purposes.-

Quote:
-----Original Message-----
From: Buffie S. [mailto:Buffie's Email @ xxx.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 03, 2007 1:41 PM
To: info@onedaydiet.biz
Subject: Regarding Your Radio Ad Airing on Clear Channel and XM
Importance: High

Please forward the following message to the appropriate personnel in your advertising/marketing or communications department. Thank you.

Good Afternoon,

My company is affiliated with XM Radio and it is my understanding that XM broadcasts a few Clear Channel stations. Recently, while listening to XM, I heard an ad for "The Every Other Day Diet" on a Clear Channel station. I have contacted both XM and Clear Channel regarding this ad and am now attempting to contact someone at the company responsible for the ad itself.

Being unfamiliar with laws governing communication, broadcast and advertising, I assume Clear Channel and XM are neither liable nor responsible for the content of the ads they air. I am sure that the intent of Clear Channel and XM is never to purposely offend or alienate listeners, but an ad for "The Every Other Day Diet" has done both to me.

The beginning of the spot is a child's voice saying something to the effect of "Being fat doesn't just hurt you, it hurts the people around you, too." This sort of rubbish is typical of fad-diet ads. But when the child's voice goes on to say his or her "mommy is crying in the closet because her clothes don't fit" I started to become annoyed. After the ad referred to "ugly fat" for the 3rd time, I was angry and decided to let XM and Clear Channel know about it.

To put it bluntly, I am a fat person. I do not now nor have I ever considered myself "ugly". The fact that this ad strongly implies that I am some hideous beast because I am large is upsetting. Most diet ads do suggest that being big is unattractive and while I disagree with it, I can understand why they would employ such a tactic for selling their product.

"The Every Other Day Diet" ad is the first one I have personally heard which stooped to a level so incredibly low. Aside from the obnoxious premise, the "ugly fat" phrase being repeated over and over was truly offensive and most unnecessary.

Certainly there are many other Clear Channel and XM listeners like me who are big. Some of them may hate it and feel they are ugly, still I am confident in assuming that a great deal of them share my philosophy. Big people are simply big people. Regardless of how big and regardless of health, they are absolutely worthy of the same respect and consideration as smaller people.

"The Every Other Day Diet" has no excuse for peddling their product in such a hateful fashion and no 'health' argument is going to sway me into believing that I'm "ugly" at any size. In fact, all the ad has done is convince me that its an inferior company hawking a useless placebo and false hopes.

***Why would anyone ever purchase a product from any company that referred to them as "ugly"? Even if I were interested in losing weight, I would never consider the "Every Other Day Diet" based purely on the fact that the ad is so insulting. What result did they expect by calling their target market "ugly"? Never will I give my money or business to a company which has zero respect for me as a person and a consumer.***

It may not be the popular opinion to think that big is beautiful, but the fact is that there are thousands of people of all sizes who appreciate or even admire those of us who are large. There are even activist groups who are doing what they can to promote respect and tolerance of big people. As evidenced by the ad in question, there is an unfortunate lack of open-mindedness and acceptance toward people of size. No matter how you feel about large people (whether your dislike their appearance or have 'concern' for their health), if you want to sell a product to them, the LAST thing you should do is insult them.

My suggestion to this company is to revise the current ad. I realize there is administrative or contractual red tape involved, but I think my request has solid merit and I believe a revision would be beneficial to Clear Channel and XM in the form of fewer upset listeners; and beneficial to the manufacturer of "The Every Other Day Diet" in the form of more people who will buy the product instead of choosing a competitor's offering whose ad wasn't so offensive.

Just out of curiosity, does "The Every Other Day Diet" manufacturer hire people of size as employees? If so, are they told upon hiring that they are "ugly" and that their "ugly fat" is hurting them as well as the people around them?

I have already spoken with XXX XXX of XM and have contacted XXX XXX of Clear Channel, however I wanted to pass this message along to "The Every Other Day Diet" company personally.

Hopefully the ad was due to a simple error in judgment and not borne out of disdain for the very people upon whom the company desires to turn a profit. For the latter is akin to biting the hand that feeds it, no?

Thank you very kindly for your consideration. I sincerely appreciate your attention to this matter and any efforts you make toward resolving the problem.

My contact information is listed below. Please let me know if you have any questions or require additional information.

Best Regards,
Buffie S.

My Employer's Name Here
Home of XXX XXX on XM's Channel ###

###-###-#### Ext. ###
Buffie's Email @ xxx.com

This message contains confidential information. Unless you are the addressee or authorized to receive confidential information for the addressee, you may not retain, copy, use, or distribute this information. If you have received this message in error, please delete it and advise the sender immediately.
At least I can say I tried. I have a voice and I used it... and it felt DAMN GOOD!
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Old 01-03-2007, 06:35 PM   #2
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You friggin GO GIRL!!!!!

I'm watching, this weekend, of all things, Ugly Betty, and every other ad is a diet or thigh master ad.

WTF is up with that? Think they could have chosen a less likely vehicle for their ads????
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Old 01-03-2007, 06:40 PM   #3
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yay for you!!!!!! so awesome!
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Old 01-03-2007, 06:42 PM   #4
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Keep us updated. I'm truly interested as to whether the ad agency and/or diet company is going to defend themselves, and if so, how.
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Old 01-03-2007, 06:43 PM   #5
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I ~heart~ you, Jane! Thanks for the support supersoup and Renaissance Woman!

I had serious second thoughts before sending each of the emails and even more serious second thoughts about posting details of the experience here... but I'm glad I did and I just had to share the fact that I got a response from XM - a positive one at that.

It made me consider that other people here have probably been just as (or much more so) offended by things they've come across on TV or radio and like me, they had hesitation about speaking up. I will have hesitation no more and I hope this news will encourage others to speak up even when they're second guessing themselves.
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Old 01-03-2007, 06:45 PM   #6
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I ~heart~ you, Jane! Thanks for the support supersoup and Renaissance Woman!

I had serious second thoughts before sending each of the emails and even more serious second thoughts about posting details of the experience here... but I'm glad I did and I just had to share the fact that I got a response from XM - a positive one at that.

It made me consider that other people here have probably been just as (or much more so) offended by things they've come across on TV or radio and like me, they had hesitation about speaking up. I will have hesitation no more and I hope this news will encourage others to speak up even when they're second guessing themselves.
My God, that man was lucky enough to talk to Buffie. What the hell more could he want?

I'm proud of you.
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Old 01-03-2007, 07:43 PM   #7
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mailto:Buffie's Email @ xxx.com
Your e-mail is hardcore?


Great move, Buffie!

Bringing up the "biting the hand that feeds it" error in logic on their part was a stroke of genius, and much more cogent a response than I would have been able to muster whilst in the throes of anger.

Reading your e-mail, I can't help but think that the company execs must be highly embarassed, and may be looking for a new ad agency.

You

ROCK.


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Old 01-03-2007, 07:56 PM   #8
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Your e-mail is hardcore?


Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeThinker View Post
Great move, Buffie!

Bringing up the "biting the hand that feeds it" error in logic on their part was a stroke of genius, and much more cogent a response than I would have been able to muster whilst in the throes of anger.

Reading your e-mail, I can't help but think that the company execs must be highly embarassed, and may be looking for a new ad agency.

You

ROCK.


-Free
What a nice thing to say. Thank you! I kept a sharp eye on my task bar all day looking for the new mail icon.

Hopefully "The Every Other Day" execs are mortified. That was a really dumb move on their part. Then again, the ethics involved with people who work for companies like that are probably nil... which might suggest a lack of humility, too. No telling.

But I do hope they at least respond, even if only to tell my "ugly fat" ass to buy their product because if I don't then I'm going to keel over tomorrow from either my "hurtful" fat or the horror of seeing my "ugly fat" reflection.

LOL

It was soooooooo tempting to get sarcastic and snotty and rude, because that's just fighting fire with fire, right? However, I felt like I would take the civilized route first and see how far it would get me.

Going to work is never something I dread, but I'm looking forward to it more than usual tomorrow.
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Old 01-03-2007, 08:06 PM   #9
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Bringing up the "biting the hand that feeds it" error in logic on their part was a stroke of genius, and much more cogent a response than I would have been able to muster whilst in the throes of anger.
I will have to second that.
I think you did an exceptional job, as well, Buffie, and am proud you made a stand for you yourself, big people, and did it so 'grande'. Very, very good letter indeed!

However, I am more excited that I now know your last name starts with "S". *evil laugh*


Superb job!
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Old 01-03-2007, 08:15 PM   #10
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Ohhhhmigoodness. You guys!

Thank you Chimpi. That's really cool of you to say.

I can't believe all the support! Wow! Just awesome. =)
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Old 01-03-2007, 10:37 PM   #11
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.....I'm watching, this weekend, of all things, Ugly Betty, and every other ad is a diet or thigh master ad.

WTF is up with that? Think they could have chosen a less likely vehicle for their ads????
They pummel us with diet ads in January. That's why you saw so many diet ads, Jane. I tend to watch rented movies in January for that very reason.

Most excellent job on the letter, Buffie. We need more folks to write in on offensive advertising. Let us know if you hear anything back about it.
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Old 01-04-2007, 12:19 AM   #12
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Thank you Sandie. =)

Unfortunately I can't hop on Dim while I'm at the office, but I will try to give an update as soon as I get home from work tomorrow.

I forgot to mention a detail or two, in case anyone wants to know... please see below...

The channel which played the ad was the Mix, on XM Channel 22.

A few of the XM Channels which are actually Clear Channel stations are the Mix, Kiss, Nashville and Sunny. These channels carry commercials, however actual XM music stations have no commercials. So if you listen to XM, in order to avoid the trash-talking ads, just skip the Clear Channel stations. (Or don't skip them if you'd like to satisfy some morbid curiosity. LOL)
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Old 01-04-2007, 08:37 AM   #13
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Loved the letter, Buffie, but apparently I have to give someone tuberculosis before I can give you rep again.

Now I gotta go GET TB so I can spread it around... sheesh... if I'd known this a month ago, I woulda picked up some TB in China...
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Old 01-04-2007, 06:40 PM   #14
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Good luck with that, Fatlane. Its the thought that counts anyway. =) Besides, I have dislocated my shoulder patting myself on the back, so any thing you say would really only pale in comparison.

KIDDING! ~Grins~ You know I think you're the shiz-nit.


So I heard nothing today from either Clear Channel nor "The Every Other Junk Stupid Assholes Diet"... but I have a plan. If I don't get a response from either one by close of business tomorrow, then Monday I will contact them both again and give it a day.

Should they fail to respond by Tuesday afternoon, I will contact XM again and let them know that Clear Channel brushed me off. I will also start digging a little deeper into the "Every Other Empty Promise Diet" manufacturer's info and see if I can find out what or where the corporate office is and direct some correspondence there. They will either apologize or tell me to go gag myself... either way, I will not be satisfied until one of those two entities acknowledges my complaint.

This here fat lady hasn't started singing... so it ain't over yet.
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Old 01-04-2007, 08:21 PM   #15
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So I heard nothing today from either Clear Channel nor "The Every Other Junk Stupid Assholes Diet"... but I have a plan. If I don't get a response from either one by close of business tomorrow, then Monday I will contact them both again and give it a day.

They will either apologize or tell me to go gag myself... either way, I will not be satisfied until one of those two entities acknowledges my complaint.

This here fat lady hasn't started singing... so it ain't over yet.
Grrr...

I bet they thought fat people were supposed to be "jolly". In some sort of "ugly fat" way...



Much as I'd like to see you kick their collective ass, Buffie, I really hope they just quietly pull the spot.


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Old 01-04-2007, 08:24 PM   #16
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Nice e-mail! Glad that you contacted them, that first line with the kids voice

"Being fat doesn't just hurt you, it hurts the people around you, too."

wow... disgusting how far these people will go to earn a buck.
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Old 01-04-2007, 08:39 PM   #17
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Win or lose this battle, you know you've still won the war: You may fight with them, but they have to be them.
Point very well made.

Can you imagine trying to sleep at night if you were behind that ad campaign or if you worked for that company? ~puke~
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Old 01-04-2007, 08:42 PM   #18
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Nice e-mail! Glad that you contacted them, that first line with the kids voice

"Being fat doesn't just hurt you, it hurts the people around you, too."

wow... disgusting how far these people will go to earn a buck.
Thanks! =)

Have any of you had the displeasure of hearing the ad? The kid-voice aspect just gives the whole ad this creepy, greasy quality. Groooooss.
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Old 01-04-2007, 09:15 PM   #19
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Have any of you had the displeasure of hearing the ad? The kid-voice aspect just gives the whole ad this creepy, greasy quality. Groooooss.
Haven't heard the ad, but when I read that it was a child's voice, the first thing to pop into my head was "children of the corn"
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Old 01-04-2007, 09:47 PM   #20
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Seth Warren has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Seth Warren has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Seth Warren has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Seth Warren has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Seth Warren has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Seth Warren has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Seth Warren has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Seth Warren has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Seth Warren has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Seth Warren has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!Seth Warren has a ton of rep. Literally. As in over 2000!
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You've done the right thing in writing about your disgust with this ad. Money talks and your letter indicates to the company responsible for the ad that they may lose a potential customer and to the radio stations that they may lose a potential listener (whether or not this is actually true). A few more letters like this from like-minded people would definitely get the ad pulled. As an aside: this forum would be a great springboard to start such a movement, as their seems to be no lack of like-minded people. Large corporations are skittish when it comes to the potential for revenue loss and easily scared into removing content which might offend those who would otherwise be spending their dollars on their products.

If a group of teenage girls can stop Abercrombie & Fitch from selling a certain T-shirt line, you can get an offensive ad pulled from the airwaves. Godspeed.
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Old 01-04-2007, 09:49 PM   #21
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I would just like to say thankyou to you Buffie for doing something here. I get SO fed up of people moaning and complaining about issues, yet doing absolutely nothing to change them.

I don't usually do resolutions, but I think this year I will complain more! lol and I mean in the way you have, after all... if we don't complain, they don't know anyone has a problem with it!

Best of luck!
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Old 01-04-2007, 11:14 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth Warren View Post
You've done the right thing in writing about your disgust with this ad. Money talks and your letter indicates to the company responsible for the ad that they may lose a potential customer and to the radio stations that they may lose a potential listener (whether or not this is actually true). A few more letters like this from like-minded people would definitely get the ad pulled. As an aside: this forum would be a great springboard to start such a movement, as their seems to be no lack of like-minded people. Large corporations are skittish when it comes to the potential for revenue loss and easily scared into removing content which might offend those who would otherwise be spending their dollars on their products.

If a group of teenage girls can stop Abercrombie & Fitch from selling a certain T-shirt line, you can get an offensive ad pulled from the airwaves. Godspeed.
Good info, Seth. You nailed it on big business.

Teens vs. Abercrombie and winning? Get right outta town! I'm going to have to check into that and see if I can steal any of their 'moves'.
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Old 01-04-2007, 11:24 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Ruby Ripples View Post
I would just like to say thankyou to you Buffie for doing something here. I get SO fed up of people moaning and complaining about issues, yet doing absolutely nothing to change them.

I don't usually do resolutions, but I think this year I will complain more! lol and I mean in the way you have, after all... if we don't complain, they don't know anyone has a problem with it!

Best of luck!
You're welcome Ruby.

I think you have a very interesting resolution. Complaining, when valid, is a beneficial thing. It provides information which may have been previously unknown to the offending party; and sometimes the complainer comes away better off than he or she might have expected.

A closed mouth never gets fed. Isn't that how the saying goes? Is is my Okie showing?

Occasionally we do moan and groan. I know I'm guilty of that. You know how it is though... having a bitch fit every now and then just feels good!
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Old 01-07-2007, 10:45 PM   #24
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I always knew you were awesome!!! I hate diet ads, and if I heard that one I would be furious. I have done a lot of work for Clear Channel/Live Nation. Funny thing is, a lot of their main concert producers are overweight. I think it's great they have diversity in the aspect that I am familiar with and I bet you that nobody even really listened to the ad before it was played on air. Gotta love budget cuts and a companies ability to be irresponsible without fault. You go girl!!
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Old 01-07-2007, 10:52 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by HotBBWnKC View Post
I always knew you were awesome!!! I hate diet ads, and if I heard that one I would be furious. I have done a lot of work for Clear Channel/Live Nation. Funny thing is, a lot of their main concert producers are overweight. I think it's great they have diversity in the aspect that I am familiar with and I bet you that nobody even really listened to the ad before it was played on air. Gotta love budget cuts and a companies ability to be irresponsible without fault. You go girl!!
Awww! Thanks girlfriend.

Check out this article I found the other day...

... Please forgive the funky breaks, it copied and pasted oddly.

Quote:
Bayer, others settle with U.S. over weight-loss ads
Thu Jan 4, 2007 2:38pm ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Bayer AG and several smaller companies agreed to
pay
the U.S. government almost $26 million to settle allegations of false
weight-loss advertising claims, the Federal Trade Commission said on
Thursday.
The settlements involve Bayer's One-A-Day WeightSmart multi-vitamin, as
well
as the diet pills CortiSlim, TrimSpa and Xenadrine EFX, which are made
and
sold by other companies.
"You're not going to find weight loss in a bottle of pills," FTC
Chairman
Deborah Platt Majoras told reporters. "These ads are encouraging
consumers
to postpone the tougher choices that have to be made when one wants to
lose
weight."
In the case of Bayer, the company will pay a $3.2 million civil penalty
to
settle FTC allegations that ads for One-A-Day WeightSmart multivitamins
violated an earlier agency order requiring all health claims for
One-A-Day
brand vitamins to be supported by scientific evidence.
One-A-Day WeightSmart contains epigallocatechin gallate, a green tea
extract, which Bayer ads claimed could help increase the body's
metabolism
to control weight, the FTC said.
In a statement, Bayer said its product provides "safe and effective
nutritional support to those who are watching their weight." The
company
said it "strongly disagrees" with the FTC's description of the product
as
weight-loss pills.
The FTC also said two marketers of diet pill Xenadrine EFX -- RTC
Research &
Development and Robert Chinery Jr. -- will pay up to $12.8 million to
settle
allegations that the product's weight-loss claims were false and
unsubstantiated.
Xenadrine EFX contains green tea extract and bitter orange, and ads
claimed
the product was clinically proven to cause rapid and substantial weight
loss.
However, the FTC alleged that in one of these studies, subjects taking
Xenadrine EFX lost an average of only 1.5 pounds over the 10-week
study,
while a control group taking a placebo lost an average of 2.5 pounds
over
the same period.
The agency also said that consumer endorsers featured in ads were paid
up to
$20,000 for their appearances after losing weight with rigorous diet or
exercise programs.
In another case, seven marketers of CortiSlim and CortiStress agreed to
pay
an $8.4 million settlement, the FTC said.
Nationwide ads for CortiSlim falsely claimed it could cause rapid and
permanent weight loss, while CoriStress claimed it could reduce the
risk of
osteoporosis, obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, cancer, and heart
disease, the FTC said. The companies settling included Window Rock
Enterprises Inc. and Infinity Advertising Inc.
Marketers of another diet pill, TrimSpa, agreed to pay a $1.5 million
settlement, the FTC said.
Ads for TrimSpa claimed it caused rapid and substantial weight loss and
that
one of its ingredients, Hoodia gordonii, suppressed appetite. In one
ad,
celebrity Anna Nicole Smith claimed to have lost 69 pounds in eight
months
by using the diet pill.
The marketers involved in the TrimSpa settlement are Goen Technologies
Corp., Nutramerica Corp., TrimSpa, Inc., and Alexander Szynalski.
Reuters
2007. All Rights Reserved.
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