Marketers of the BodyFlex weight loss system have agreed to pay back millions of dollars to their customers to settle an FCC complaint that their advertising was deceptive.
Without admitting guilt, they have also agreed not to make a host of weight-loss claims about the product, a plastic exercise bar combined with a regimen of deep breathing and stretching that was pitched in a TV infomercial as well as online.
According to the FTC, it was one of the most frequently aired infomercials on cable, running more than 2,000 times on networks including Bravo, History Channel and Home & Garden, between March and September 2003, when the complaint was initially filed.
The principals of BodyFlex marketers Savvier Inc., with the exception of Jack Ching Chung Chang, were cited in the complaint. They have agreed to create a $2.6 million refund program, with any left over going to the U.S. Treasury.
The amount was based on the company's ability to pay and will be escalated to a whopping $36 million if the FTC finds they misrepresented their financial condition.
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.