The Federal Trade Commission has unanimously approved a federal district court settlement fining the marketers of Slim Down Solution and permanently barring them from making bogus weight-loss claims.
The bogus claims, made in TV infomercials that aired on cable channels including Bravo, Comedy Central, and PAX, misrepresented that the product, also marketed as Fight the Fat, Everslim, and Mini Max, could block fat absorption.
According to the court, the Slim Down principals can no longer make the fat blocker claims for their product or its main ingredient, D-glucosamine. They are also technically on the hook for $30 million in consumer redress. But, given their financial condition--they filed for bankruptcy--the court agreed to let them slim down their pocketbooks by $725,000 and turn over all traceable assets to sales of the product. Defendants Ronald and Kathleen Alarcon have put up their Florida home as collateral.
If the FTC finds they fudged the financials, the Slim Down partners, and another set of defendents who sold the product directly via the Internet, will be on the hook for the entire $30 million
The FTC filed suit against the company and its principals in January 2003.
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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.