Another costly and fake weight loss promise is exposed at last. Did you fall for for the acai berry hype?
Are you angry? embarrassed? sad? self critical? promising you won't do it again? or promising that you will find the one that really works next time? Use "PAM" to protect yourself.
"Online promoters of swift weight loss from acai berry diet pills have agreed to a multimillion dollar settlement with the Federal Trade Commission.
The agency had charged that the six promoters used fake news stories to dupe customers into purchasing the pills and other weight-loss products that failed to live up to marketing claims."
What were these promoters thinking? Did they believe such lies would not be uncovered eventually? Did they think that buyers wouldn't notice that they experienced no weight loss, such as 25 pounds in four weeks as stated in a fake testimonial?
My hunch is that they took a chance on maybe getting away with their scam but more likely were prepared for a request to remove the product from circulation and receive a small fine. My hunch is that they factored in the risk of lying as a "cost of doing business" and expected to make great profits despite the eventual discovery of unethical marketing methods.
Referring to the promises and testamonials: All this was pure fabrication, ”Steve Wernikoff*, an FTC attorney in Chicago said "The weight-loss results on the sites were impossible to achieve.”
The company was required to pay four million dollars as a result of the judgement. Before we do a happy dance, please consider this. Only 500 thousand was actually paid since that is declared to be the total of company assets.
And before we do a happy dance about their being stripped of assets, let's consider this: do we believe them? After all, they proved in a court of law that they are liars. Why should we believe a liar?
What's also disturbing to me is that the the court barred the company from making deceptive claims about health-related products. Good grief! Does this mean that without the judgement deceptive claims are okay? Or are we looking at degrees of deception?
When you read more about the acai berry story I hope you will understand that false promises abound. You need to care for yourself in a weight loss marketing environment that will do its best to manipulate your dearest wish and deepest fear for profit.
If you can "Pause a Minute" before jumping into endeavors that promise quick and easy weight loss you could care better for your health, save money and put your time and energy toward what is really effective.
Please be assured that another quick and easy weight loss hard sell based on false advertising will be here soon (or is always among us). The promotion will give people suffering from carrying weight they don't want a surge of hope and thrill that their dollars will make their dreams come true. The legal costs to the company because of false advertising will be considered the "cost of doing business" in yet another profitable undertaking. Please "PAM" before you buy.
"PAM" is a tiny and simple basic exercise in the self help book: Healing Your Hungry Heart: recovering from your eating disorder. It's fundamental to eating disorder recovery, self-care and sometimes professional and personal survival.
Did you get caught in the acai hype??
Have you learned to do a "PAM?"
*Steve Wernikoff is a staff attorney with the Federal Trade Commission in Chicago who specializes in Internet related consumer protection matters. Steve has led numerous investigations and civil prosecutions involving spam email, deceptive advertising, affiliate marketing, credit card fraud, and privacy and security issues. Steve also has served as an adjunct faculty member at two local law schools where he has taught courses involving Internet fraud, online advertising and privacy issues. Prior to working at the FTC, Steve worked at a law firm in Chicago and clerked for two federal court judges.