Obesity is a big problem in developed and some developing countries. Businesses exist to solve this issue, or so we would like to believe. Believe it or not, there is an entire industry hell-bent on selling ‘pills’ and other products, such as ketosis supplements, for reducing weight.
Do these products work? That’s for you to find out.
Being aware of the fact that advertising is the unseen devil is your responsibility. Fortunately, there are laws provided by the US government, which aim is to control the concept of ‘false advertising’. FTC, in coordination with FDA have set strong guidelines to these businesses, so that they won’t mislead you into buying their products.
Here are few things to keep in mind:
1. Statements and Claims
If the company ‘claims’ that their product can make a quantifiable difference, it should have extensive holistic evidence to back up that claim. Furthermore, they should not provide disclaimers to the contrary. An example would be to claim that a product can help a person lose a certain amount of weight every day, and displaying a note which says ‘individual results may vary’.
2. Misleading Claims
If you think that pills are the answer to all your problems, we’d be rid of common cold and herpes a long time ago. If the packaging on a product implies that people can lose weight just by taking the product, the company should be especially aware that FTC will hound it tirelessly for deceiving the consumer. Changes in diet and exercise need to be communicated clearly to the end user.
3. Scientific Evidence
Selling a product is based on trust for the most part. Advertising is just the catalyst. And the trust of the consumer can be achieved if a product is backed up by a record of peer-reviewed journals and white papers from the scientific community. Even better if the company provides access to this information to the public.
Using images of models and actors is a common way to reach potential consumers. But FTC observes that it is highly deceptive. Using images is prohibited unless they are of people with verified purchases and measurable results. On top of that, they should provide a testimonial affidavit and consent forms for the advertiser/company.
An attorney can reveal even more minutiae. As a consumer, you can protect yourself from false advertising in your quest for the perfect body, by knowing these guidelines and spotting fake products.
As a company, you can achieve greater compliance and earn your customer’s trust. A full-scale audit and review of your website and marketing campaign from a law firm or an attorney should be a priority.