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Posted July 30, 2003
Maker of Weight-Loss and Cellulite Treatment Ordered to Stop False Claims and Pay Consumer Redress
The FTC’s complaint, filed in September 2002 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, alleged that No. 9068-8425 Quebec, Inc., doing business as Bio Lab, Cellu-Fight, and Quick Slim, and Jean-Francois Brochu, falsely advertised “Quick Slim Fat Blocker,” a purported weight-loss product, and “Cellu-Fight,” a product to eliminate cellulite. Specifically, the FTC alleged that the defendants falsely represented that Quick Slim causes rapid and substantial weight loss, including as much as 2 pounds per day, without dieting or increasing exercise, and that the weight loss would be permanent. The FTC also alleged that the defendants falsely represented that Cellu-Fight is clinically proven to eliminate cellulite from the stomach, backside, hips, and thighs.
The settlement prohibits the defendants from representing that their weight loss products will cause rapid or substantial weight loss without the need to diet or exercise, or that they will cause permanent weight loss. The settlement also prohibits the defendants from representing that their cellulite treatment products will reduce or eliminate cellulite. In addition, the order prohibits unsubstantiated claims regarding the efficacy of any weight-loss or cellulite treatment product, as well as unsubstantiated claims about the health benefits, performance, efficacy, safety, or side effects of health-related products, programs, or services, including any dietary supplement, food, drug, device, or cosmetic.
In addition, the final order enables the FTC to take possession of thousands of pieces of consumer mail held for the defendants at Mail Boxes, Etc. locations in the United States so that the FTC can return the product orders to consumers. The estimated value of these unfulfilled product orders is over $100,000. The order also prohibits the defendants from selling or otherwise disclosing their customer mailing lists for Quick Slim or Cellu-Fight to other marketers.
Further, the order requires the defendants to pay $40,000 (U.S. dollars) for consumer redress. The order also requires the defendants to pay $12 million in the event that the financial disclosure of information given by them to the FTC proves to be false.
The Commission vote of authorize staff to file the proposed stipulated final order was 5-0. The order was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, on July 10, 2003, and requires the court’s approval.