Advertising Tight Abs Leads to Tight Wallets for TV Marketers and Redress for Consumers

The Federal Trade Commission recently announced that it would be mailing nearly 35,000 refund checks to consumers who were deceived by Telebrands Corporation into purchasing an "Ab Force" device. The belt allegedly used electronic stimulation in order to help the user lose weight and create strong abdominal muscles without the aid of conventional exercise. See our previous post here. Consumers who purchased the product can expect to receive a little less than $18, which represents approximately 90% of the original purchase price. This is far in excess of what consumers typically receive in any class action settlement. This case is yet another example of an FTC redress order, which have been on the rise lately (see our past posts here and here). There are signs that states are becoming more aggressive in this area as well. Clearly companies are well-advised to consider the possibility of needing to pay redress/settlement funds in multiple forums and develop a coordination strategy that among other things tries to minimize total payments. – Randy Shaheen and Michael Thorpe

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