The Federal Trade Commission will hold a workshop on November 19, 2002, to explore alternate approaches to reducing deceptive claims in advertising for weight-loss products. Following up on the September 17th issuance of the FTC staff report, Weight-Loss Advertising: An Analysis of Current Trends, the workshop will give the FTC staff and interested parties an opportunity to discuss new strategies for fighting weight-loss fraud. A notice announcing the public workshop will be published in the Federal Register shortly.
The workshop will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on November 19, 2002, at the FTC headquarters building, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C., and will provide a public forum to explore the impact that deceptive weight loss ads have on public health and new approaches for fighting the proliferation of misleading claims. The workshop will consist of panels featuring public health officials, medical professionals, researchers, advertising executives, media experts, and members of the weight-loss industry.
"You can't flip through a magazine or turn on the TV without seeing ads that promise easy weight loss without diet or exercise," said Timothy J. Muris, Chairman of the FTC. "Over the years the FTC has challenged - and will continue to challenge - ads for bogus pills, patches, and potions. But it's time to explore additional steps that can be taken to protect consumers from weight-loss scam artists."
The workshop will be open to the public and there is no attendance fee. Written requests to participate as a panelist in the workshop must be filed by October 15, 2002. Written comments on the topics to be discussed by the panelists must be filed on or before October 29, 2002.
The Commission vote to publish the Federal Register notice announcing the public workshop conference was 5-0.