If you can’t say something nice about this weight loss product…
Consider this scenario: a company promises you its products will provide unbelievable results. But if you decide to write a negative review about your experience, the company says you owe it as much as three times what you originally paid.
That’s how it worked with Roca Labs, the FTC says — only it was the company’s weight loss claims that were unbelievable.
According to the FTC’s complaint, Roca Labs targeted their ads at people considering gastric bypass surgery — a procedure used for drastic weight reduction — by promising the same weight loss results without surgery. The ads claimed that their approved ingredients would drastically limit how much people could eat. Even children as young as six could safely use the product to lose weight, the company said. With a supposed 90 percent success rate, why would anyone choose surgery?
But according to the FTC, the company didn’t have scientific evidence to support its weight loss claims, offered to pay for testimonials, and owned a supposedly independent medical website that promoted its products.
What happened if you tried the products and found they fell short? The FTC says people who’d already paid several hundred dollars were told they’d have to pay even more money if they wrote negative reviews. And if you wrote a negative review anyway? People were sued by the company for the reviews, and had their sensitive health information exposed in public court documents, the FTC alleges.
If you’re considering a weight loss product, talk to your doctor first. And check out these other tips for weighing the claims in diet ads.