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Ab Circle Pro marketers to pay at least $15 million over deceptive ads

The Federal Trade Commission accused the exercise device’s promoters of making false weight-loss claims

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. So when the marketers of the Ab Circle Pro claimed that a three-minute workout on the exercise gadget was the equivalent of 100 sit-ups, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) took notice and filed a complaint. Now, the product’s promoters have agreed to pay up to $25 million to settle the case.

According to the FTC complaint, multiple defendants—including Ab Circle Pro infomercial host Jennifer Nicole Lee—falsely claimed that customers could shed pounds and inches by using the Ab Circle Pro for just several minutes a day. Infomercials for the product also included testimonials from satisfied users, including Lee herself, who purportedly lost 80 pounds using the device.

Although the defendants did not admit wrongdoing as part of the settlement, they did agree to pay between $15 and $25 million in refunds to customers, who typically paid between $200 and $250 for the product. They are also prohibited from making unsupported weight-loss claims for any piece of exercise equipment, food or drug.

“The FTC reminds marketers that they should think twice before promising a silver-bullet solution to a health problem—whether it involves losing weight or curing cancer,” David Vladeck, director of the agency’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. “Weight loss is hard work, and telling consumers otherwise is deceptive.”

The settlement is part of an FTC crackdown on deceptive health and fitness claims. In recent months, the commission has settled similar complaints with Reebok, Skechers and the makers of the infamous Four Loko, which contained the equivalent of four to five 12-ounce beers in a single can.

Read more at ABC News.

And for more InsideCounsel coverage of allegedly deceptive health and fitness claims, see:

Weight loss companies battle over advertising claims

China cracks down on fake sex pill makers

Customer sues Adidas over barefoot running shoe

Sugar sues high fructose corn syrup

Maker of Nutella settles deceptive ad suit

More beef between Chicago frank makers vying to become top dog

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