FTC launches 'Big Fat Lie' initiative.
On November 9th, the FTC launched "Operation Big Fat
Lie," a nationwide law enforcement sweep against six companies
making false weight loss claims in national advertisements. Operation
Big Fat Lie is the latest in the FTC's efforts to stop deceptive advertising and provide refunds to consumers harmed by unscrupulous
weight loss advertisers; encourage media outlets not to carry
advertisements containing bogus weight-loss claims; and educate
consumers to be on their guard against companies promising miraculous weight loss without diet or exercise. Complaints in each of the six
cases allege that defendants used at least one of the seven bogus weight
loss claims that are part of the FTC's "Red Flag"
education campaign announced in December 2003 (see September issue of
NUTRACEUTICALS WORLD, page 39, for more information). In short, the Red
Flag campaign provides guidance to assist media outlets in voluntarily
screening out weight loss ads that contain claims that are too good to