FTC Continues Focus on Cold and Weight Loss Supplement Claims, Settles with Iovate for $5.5M

July 14, 2010

On July 14th, the FTC announced the settlement of a significant false advertising case against Iovate Health Sciences U.S.A. and Canadian affiliates for false weight loss, cold, flu and allergy claims relating to 5 of the company's products.   The settlement includes $5.5M for refunds to consumers, and represents a continuation of the FTC's focus on the weight loss and immune/cold/flu dietary supplement categories. The case illustrates two aspects of advertising that can be expected to result in increased scrutiny — the use of actors dressed to look like doctors, and claims that products are "clinically proven." Just over one year ago, Iovate conducted a significant recall of one of its major products, Hydroxycut, as a result of adverse event reports that the product was associated with liver damage.