FOR THE CONSUMER
The FTC's monthly newsletter for the Congressional community
It's the news you - and your constituents - can use.
Volume 6 - Number 2
IN THIS ISSUE
$25 MILLION SETTLEMENT. The FTC has settled deceptive advertising charges against the marketers of four weight loss and weight control products: Xenadrine EFX, CortiSlim, TrimSpa, and One-A-Day WeightSmart. The defendants surrendered cash and other assets worth at least $25 million, and agreed to limit their future advertising claims. The FTC alleged that the weight loss and weight control claims weren’t supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence. Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2007/01/weightloss.htm
FRANCHISE RULE. The FTC has approved amendments to the Franchise Rule, which gives prospective franchise buyers material information to weigh the risks and benefits of the investment. The amendment harmonizes the federal Rule with state franchise disclosure laws, adapts to changes in the marketing of franchises and new technologies, and addresses complaints by many franchisees about their experience with franchisors. Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2007/01/franchiserule.htm
A RINGING ENDORSEMENT. The FTC seeks public comments on its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. The review will examine the overall costs, benefits, and impact of the Guides and changes in relevant technology, such as email and the Internet. Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2007/01/fyi0707.htm
READ UP AND REACH OUT. BE AN INFORMED CONSUMER. National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), February 4-10, 2007, highlights consumer education efforts in communities across the nation in the fight against fraud. Visit the NCPW site at www.consumer.gov/ncpw to get information from government agencies and consumer advocacy organizations to promote NCPW in your community. The FTC and its partners will present a Consumer Education Fair from 9:00am to 12:00pm, Thursday, February 8, in 1302 Longworth HOB. If you'd like to know more about the Fair or promoting NCPW in your district, email Derick Rill at firstname.lastname@example.org or Carol Kando-Pineda at email@example.com.
BROADBAND AND COMPETITION WORKSHOP. The FTC will host a public workshop on “Broadband Connectivity Competition Policy” on February 13 and 14, 2007. The workshop will bring together experts from business, government, and the technology sector, as well as consumer advocates and academics to explore competition and consumer protection issues relating to broadband Internet access, including so-called “network neutrality.” Pre-registration is not necessary, but is encouraged. To pre-register, email your name and affiliation to firstname.lastname@example.org. Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2006/12/broadbandworkshop2.htm.
ENERGY ISSUES WORKSHOP. The FTC will convene a three-day conference to feature leading experts from the government, industries in the energy sector, consumer groups, and academia to exchange information and ideas about critical issues related to energy development, transportation, marketing, and use. Pre-registration is not necessary, but is encouraged. To pre-register, email your name and affiliation to email@example.com. Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2007/01/energywrkshp.htm.
These workshops are free and open to the public. Both will be held at the FTC’s Conference Center, 601 New Jersey Ave., NW, Washington, DC. All attendees will be required to show a valid form of photo identification, such as a driver’s license. Live webcasts of the workshops also will run on the FTC’s website.
GIVING THE BOUNCE TO COUNTERFEIT CHECK SCAMS. Brochure explains how to recognize, avoid, and report counterfeit check scams. 8.5"x11", 4 pages. www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre40.htm
HIGH-RATE, HIGH-FEE LOANS (HOEPA/Section 32 Mortgages). Brochure explains the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act of 1994, what loans are covered, what disclosures are required, and what practices are prohibited. 8.5"x11", 4 pages. www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/homes/rea19.htm
Wouldn’t it be nice to shed a few of those holiday pounds? And wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy your favorite foods – pizza, pasta, fried chicken, gooey chocolate deserts – and watch the weight melt away? Best of all, wouldn’t it be nice to have the trim, shapely figure you’ve always wanted without having to diet or exercise? NOW – FINALLY – YOU CAN with Fat Foe! Just take two FatFoe™ capsules before each meal. The safe, all-natural active ingredient in FatFoe™, auberginium, binds with food to block the absorption of fat, carbs, AND calories. Lose up to 10 pounds per week – with no sweat, no starvation!
Wouldn't it be nice...Yes. Too bad that ads for products that promise you can lose weight without diet or exercise are false. The FTC and the Competition Bureau of Canada designed this ad to reach consumers shopping online for weight loss products and warn them about diet rip-offs.To learn more about how to tell the difference between a rip-off weight loss product and the real thing, visit the FTC’s "teaser" site at http://wemarket4u.net/fatfoe.
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