FTC: Cable wants in on diet plan


According to Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection deputy
director Lee Peeler, the cable industry wants to work with the FTC to get the
word out on questionable dietary- and health-supplement claims, including
providing more consumer-education information.

That input came at an FTC workshop Thursday on diet- and health-supplement ads
and in the wake of a $3 million fine levied on the marketers of Blue
Stuff pain relievers for unsupported claims in their TV infomercials and other

The commission is working on a list of "false phrases" that are almost
certainly unsupportable claims and, thus, should raise red flags with consumers
and the media, including that the product will cause substantial weight loss for
all users; that it will cause permanent weight loss; or that topical treatments -- wraps, patches, belts, clips, or creams -- will cause substantial weight

Peeler said the goal is "to get better guidance out to the media about
the types of claims that are almost certainly false and shouldn't be running,"
rather than to require that all of the media have an extensive ad-clearing process
in place.