FTC Targets Spanish-Media Fraud

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Having concluded that Hispanics are more likely to be the targets of deceptive ads than non-Hispanic whites, the Federal Trade Commission has initiated the Hispanic Law Enforcement and Outreach Initiative to crack down on such fraud.

The effort combines a series of actions against deceptive advertisers on Spanish-language TV, Radio, Internet and in print over the last few months with workshops on May 12 and 13 in which the FTC and the Justice Department will discuss how best to work together to crack down on deceptive ads targeted to Spanish-speaking consumers.

The seven announced actions stemmed from a 2003 initiative, the Spanish Language Media Monitoring Project, to review Spanish-language ads, including for "home businesses opportunities, weight-loss products, junk computers, and fraudulent international driving permits."

In the most recent action, dated Tuesday, Alternative Medical Technologies (AMT), which has been hawking X-TOX 10 weight-loss suppplement on, among others, TV infomercials, radio ads and the internet, has agreed to stop making a whole host of claims.

Most importantly, AMT is permanently enjoined from claiming that its weight-loss product "causes weight loss."

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