For Your Information: December 31, 1997
The Federal Trade Commission today announced the following action.
Consent agreements given final approval: Following a public comment period, the Commission has made final a consent agreement with the following entity. The Commission action makes the consent order binding on the respondent.
- The consent order settles a case with Weight Watchers International, Inc. concerning substantiation for advertising claims made by the company in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The settlement covers future claims, including testimonial claims, about weight loss and weight loss maintenance. The agreement sets out the types of evidence needed to support Weight Watchers’ future weight loss and weight loss maintenance claims. It requires that claims about maintenance success include additional disclosures about the actual maintenance experience of Weight Watchers’ customers, as well as the statement "For many dieters, weight loss is temporary." In addition, under the agreement, Weight Watchers would state, in connection with any atypical testimonial about weight loss or maintenance success, the generally-expected success for program participants or indicate that dieters should not expect to experience similar results. Finally, the company has agreed to use its best efforts to assure that its franchisees comply with the terms of the settlement. The Commission vote on this matter was 2-1, with Commissioner Mary L. Azcuenaga dissenting, having no reason to believe the law has been violated. Chairman Robert Pitofsky was recused and Commissioner Mozelle W. Thompson did not participate. (See news release dated September 30, 1997, for more information about the order; Docket No. 9261) Staff contact is Richard Kelly, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202- 326-3304, or Ronald Waldman, New York Regional Office, 212-264-1207.
Copies of the documents referenced above are available from the FTC’s web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-3128; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710.
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