If someone told you a 14-day diet would alter your metabolism so extra calories would not lead to extra weight, would you believe it?
How about an over-the-counter skin cream that's as good as the prescription wrinkle remover Retin-A?The Federal Trade Commission says neither product is what it purports to be and the makers of each have agreed to stop making false claims and pay fines to the federal treasury.
However, a third firm, Synchronal Corp., one of the nation's largest producers of program-length television commercials known as infomercials, says it will fight FTC charges that broadcast advertisements on cellulite and baldness remedies are deceptive.
The FTC said Nu-Day Enterprises Inc., of Gig Harbor, Wash. and its owner, Jeffrey Bland, have agreed to stop unsubstantiated claims about the Nu-Day Diet Program and pay a $30,000 fine. The company, which advertises on a 30-minute infomercial, also will disclose every 15 minutes that the program is an advertisement.
The firm said it stands by the effectiveness of its diet program, but could not afford to fight a legal battle with the FTC.
In the second case, the FTC said St. Ives Laboratories Inc., deceptively labeled and advertised Retinyl A skin cream as containing or having the same effect as Retin-A, a prescription anti-acne medication that reduces wrinkles.
The agency says the company, based in Chatsworth, Calif., has agreed to stop the deceptive marketing and pay a $100,000 fine.
In the third action, the FTC is trying to stop future broadcasts of an infomercial for the Anushka Bio-Response Body Contouring Program, a cellulite treatment, and the Omexin System for Hair, a baldness cure.
The FTC's complaint is that the broadcast "Cellulite Free: Straight Talk with Erin Gray" makes unsubstantiated claims that Anushka products will cause weight loss and reduction in hips and thighs.