Trudeau, Publishers in FTC Cross-Hairs

October 23, 2007

1 Min Read
Trudeau, Publishers in FTC Cross-Hairs

WASHINGTONKevin Trudeau, author of The Weight Loss Cure They Dont Want You to Know About, and the books publisher are facing charges from the FTC for misrepresenting the books contents to consumers. On Oct. 5, FTC filed a complaint against Direct Marketing Concepts Inc., ITV Direct Inc., and the companies joint controllers, Donald Barrett and Robert Maihos; the agency alleges the marketers deceptively claimed in infomercials the weight-loss plan outlined in the book is easy to follow and allows weight loss with no chance of weight regain. According to FTC, the plan is actually a complicated system of daily injections, specialized cleanses and supplements, severe food restrictions, and a long-term restricted diet protocol. In 2004, FTC sued the same four defendants, alleging they made deceptive advertising claims for two dietary supplements and billed consumers credit cards without authorization; FTC has filed a motion for summary judgment in that case.

The new filing come three weeks after FTC filed a contempt action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, charging Trudeau with violating a court order by making the deceptive weight loss claims in several infomercials. The new charges stem from Trudeaus settlement in the 2004 case; in the settlement, Trudeau was banned from using infomercials to sell any product, service or program, and paid $2 million. The ban contained a narrow exemption for infomercials for books and other publications, but specifically required that Trudeau not misrepresent the content of the books, a clause FTC is charging he violated. Trudeaus troubles with FTC date back to 1998, when the agency filed charges alleging he made false and unsubstantiated claims for hair growth, memory and weight loss products sold through infomercials.

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