Good news for consumers who bought a product called Ab Circle Pro that did not work as advertised. The FTC filed deceptive advertising charges against the marketers of the abdominal exercise device, and the companies have agreed to settle the charges and pay from $15 million to $25 million depending on the number of consumers requesting refunds. To apply for a refund, go to the FTC’s website here.
The Ab Circle Pro was advertised on TV infomercials and advertisements, online including a Facebook page, on a video loop playing at Ab Circle Pro retail sale locations, and in print ads. According to the FTC, the advertisements promised that exercising for just three minutes a day would cause them to lose 10 pounds in two weeks. In addition, the advertisements claimed that a three-minute workout was the same as doing 100 sit ups. The Ab Circle Pro infomercial featured people giving testimonials that they had lost as much as 60 pounds. The purchase price of the product through the infomercial ranged from $200 to $250.
Several companies were named as defendants in the lawsuit as well as the infomercial pitchwoman, Jennifer Nicole Lee. According to the FTC, “the complaint charged all the defendants except Lee and her companies with making false and/or unsupported claims, including that using the product caused rapid or substantial weight and fat loss; resulted in loss of weight, fat, or inches in specific parts of the body; provided fat loss and weight loss equivalent to, or better than, a much longer gym workout; and provided the same rapid and substantial weight loss that people who provided testimonials for the infomercial said they experienced. The complaint charged all the defendants with misrepresenting that using the Ab Circle Pro allowed Jennifer Nicole Lee to lost 80 pounds.
As part of the settlement, Lee and the two companies she controls cannot endorse any exercise equipment, food, drug, or device unless her endorsement is her honest opinion or experience. Also, according to the settlement, all defendants other than Lee and the two companies she controls are barred from making claims that the Ab Circle Pro is likely to cause rapid and substantial loss of weight, inches or fat and are barred from claiming that consumers using such products can expect to achieve the same results as the endorsers unless supported by “competent and reliable evidence.”
The FTC adds that the complaint is not a finding or ruling that the defendants have actually violated the law. The settlement does not constitute an admission by the defendants that the law has been violated.
Your BBB advises consumers to check out advertising claims for health supplements and weight-loss products before making a purchase.
For more information you can trust, see