Media & Communications Law

Judge: 'Easy' Diet Claim in TV Ads Misleading, Violated Order

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A television pitchman has been found in contempt of a federal court order, for continuing to make misleading claims in television infomercials about a diet book he authored.

Specifically, Kevin Trudeau violated the order by depicting the diet described in his book, The Weight Loss Cure “They” Don’t Want You to Know About, as easy to comply with, when it is anything but, reports the Chicago Tribune.

“The book promotes a diet that limits calories to 500 a day, requires colonics and forbade frequenting chain restaurants,” the newspaper writes. “It also banned the use of artificial sweeteners and sugar, medications, meat and poultry and microwave ovens. The diet also called for taking injections of a hormonal pharmaceutical product that the government hasn’t approved for weight loss.”

Lawyers for Trudeau had contended that the Federal Trade Commission, which sought the contempt finding, was attacking advertising claims protected by the First Amendment, since it was Trudeau’s opinion that the diet is easy to follow.

Sanctions for violating the 2004 court order will be determined at a subsequent hearing.

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