No More Weight Loss Supplements on Dr. Oz and Here’s Why
Do you rely on weight loss supplement advice from Dr. Oz before making that supplement purchase online? Those days are gone, and here’s why and what you can do about it.
Weight loss supplements sold online have become an increasingly serious problem with blatant marketing tactics that use every trick and device to convince consumers to buy their products.
According to a news release by the Federal Trade Commission, the government has recently issued a court order against California-based Sale Slash LLC and Purists Choice LLC from promoting the sale of reputed weight-loss supplements such as Premium Green Coffee, Pure Caralluma Fimbriata Extract, Pure Garcinia Cambogia, Premium White Kidney Bean Extract, and Pure Forskolin Extract.
However, the court order is not based on whether or not you will actually lose weight from taking these products, but the fact that affiliate marketing companies hired by the aforementioned businesses violated the FTC Act and the CAN-SPAM Act―federal laws designed to protect consumers from unfair and deceptive practices by sellers.
More specifically, the charged are accused of:
• Sending illegal spam emails.
• Posting banner ads online that led consumers to fake news sites designed to appear as if an independent consumer reporter, rather than a paid advertiser, had reviewed and endorsed the products.
• Making false weight-loss claims and using phony celebrity endorsements to promote specific diet products.
• Using stolen email user accounts to appear as if an email message was coming from a friend or family member alerting the receiver to a new miracle weight loss product.
According to the FDA, Sale Slash LLC paid its affiliate marketers a commission whenever consumers clicked through from a fake news website to one of the defendants’ sites and bought their supplements.
“Sale Slash is a fraud trifecta,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The company made outlandish weight-loss claims for its diet pills using fake news sites, phony celebrity endorsements, and millions of unwanted spam emails.”
The court order includes not only halting the illegal conduct, but reportedly freezing their assets as well with the intention of recovering ill-gained profits and returning them to consumers who bought the defendants’ diet pills.
Dr. Oz Takes a Stand Against Online Supplements
However, illegal marketing of weight loss products is just one side of the coin. According to a recent episode of The Dr. Oz Show, where Dr. Oz talks about the continued flagrant use of his name and image to sell weight loss products without his permission, he warns viewers that many weight loss supplements sold online are actually bogus products that carry only a tiny percentage of the active ingredient―if at all!
“There are too may unscrupulous marketers who are going after your money with bogus products. And the industry itself is putting out discredited studies with unsubstantiated claims―that’s why we don’t talk about weight loss herbal supplements anymore on this show,” says Dr. Oz.
But Dr. Oz reassures viewers that this does not mean that there are not any legitimate weight loss supplements available―just that those bought online run a high risk of being fraudulent or potentially unsafe. To help viewers find supplements that are more likely to be what they are advertised to be, he recommends that buyers should:
• Buy their supplements from physical big-name brick and mortar businesses that are concerned about their name and reputation, rather than buy from virtual online business sites.
• Recognize that legitimate supplement companies do not advertise by spam e-mails or internet popup ads.
• Avoid any extreme ads that make miracle claims and/or feature Dr. Oz.
• Become your own expert by researching from reliable online sources of info such as ConsumerReports.org, FDA.gov, and Medlineplus.gov.
• Look for 3rd-party seals of approval like from USPharmcopeia, NSF International and Consumerlab.com.
For more about weight loss and other supplements sold online, here are a few additional reports about this growing problem:
Federal Trade Commission news release― “FTC Halts Deceptive Marketing of Bogus Weight-Loss Products”
Federal Trade Commission blog― “Spammy, phony weight loss promises”
The Dr. Oz Show― “Dr. Oz Exposes the Companies Illegally Using His Name for Profit”