'Ab Circle Pro' Marketers to Pay Up to $25M in Refunds: FTC

Just three minutes a day on the “Ab Circle Pro” won’t make you thin, contrary to the infomercial pitch, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
So the device marketers have settled with the FTC on a payout of up to $25 million in consumer refunds.
They have agreed to settlements that provide as much as $25 million – and at least $15 million – depending on the volume of refunds consumers request.
Those who forked over as much as $250 for the device did not lose 10 pounds a week after three minutes daily on the swiveling apparatus.
Consumers who bought an Ab Circle Pro can submit a refund claim here.
Marketers claimed that kneeling and rotating side-to-side for three minutes was equivalent to doing 100 sit ups.
“The FTC reminds marketers that they should think twice before promising a silver-bullet solution to a health problem – whether it involves losing weight or curing cancer,” said David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Weight loss is hard work, and telling consumers otherwise is deceptive.”
Multiple versions of the infomercial aired more than 10,000 times between March 2009 and May 2010, and the Ab Circle Pro was solid online, in stores, in one- and two-minute television commercials, and in print advertisements.
The FTC complaint names as defendants Fitness Brands, Fitness Brands International, and the two individuals who control them, Michael Casey and David Brodess; Direct Holdings Americas, and Direct Entertainment Media Group; infomercial producer Tara Borakos and two companies she controls, Tara Productions and New U; and Jennifer Nicole Lee and two companies she controls, JNL and JNL Worldwide.

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