Where’s The Truth In Advertising?

By Cindy Bishop on 01/08/2007
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Does anyone still believe in the old adage, truth in advertising? Remember when we were young and innocent and actually believed what we were told on television? We were confident that scientific claims about consumer products had to be true – at least at some level. I was always under the impression that companies making claims about their products had to back up the claims with some level of science before their products landed on our TV sets.

Well, supposedly that’s true says the Federal Trade Commission. If they can’t prove their claims with science, they can’t make the claim. Of course, this doesn’t mean they have to stop selling their products – they just can’t claim their products do things for us they don’t.

Over the last couple years we’ve been bombarded with miraculous weight loss claims.  The newly svelte Anna Nicole Smith smiling seductively into the camera and telling us her new incredible weight loss was  due to , "TrimSpa, baby." Then there was the onslaught of  Cortisol commercials. Remember, Cortislim? It’s the drug you can only afford to buy if you have more than 10 or 15 pounds to lose. (Cortisol is the hormone that controls your body’s stress levels which contributes to weight gain). Cortislim claims it can fight off the fat-accumulating effects of this hormone.

If you’ve seen these ads and have been tempted to try any of these products, you should know that on Jan. 4, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it was imposing a total of $25 million in fines against the companies that make these two products, as well as the makers of Xenadrine EFX and One-A-Day WeightSmart, for false advertising claims. The FTC charged that the weight-loss and weight-control claims these companies made on behalf of their products "were not supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence."

Does anyone really need to be told anymore that there are no quick fixes? I suppose we can all live in hope. I think there’s really only one way to begin feeling better again – changing those things in your life that make you feel bad. Here’s to health!

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