In its fight against diet fraudsters, the FTC slapped Sensa with a huge fine. If you bought a Sensa weight loss product you may be eligible for a refund.
Just dust your food with a little powder and you’ll lose weight without any effort; Tatianna wrote about Sensa already a while ago. Even back then we couldn’t believe in the magic powdered goodness.
But in advertisements and television commercials Sensa, Inc. claimed that they had proof. That they had done a six-month study where 1,400 people lost an average of 30.5 pounds with their stuff.
This was convincing enough to make them $364 million within four years. If you take into account that a monthly supply of Sensa cost $59 plus shipping and handling you get an idea how many people were conned by this.
Conned? Yes, conned, because the FTC looked at that study and found it was to proper research what Disneyland is to the Library of Congress.
Coincidentally, surely, it also was conducted by a doctor who has a financial interest in the company, Alan Hirsch. He always was exceptionally happy to tell people how great Sensa works:
I wonder how happy he is now. He is part of the $46.5 million fine the FTC slapped Sensa, Inc. with and barred from “providing expert endorsements unless he relies on both competent and reliable scientific evidence and his own expertise.”
Operation Failed Resolution
All this is part of the FTC’s crackdown on fad diet marketers called “Operation Failed Resolution.” Who says federal bodies don’t have a sense of humor? Three other companies also got their share in this satisfying roundhouse kick:
- LeanSpa, LLC is coming in second with a $7.3 million fine. They faked news websites to promote acai berry and colon cleanse weight loss products.
- L’Occitane, Inc. gets to pay $450,000 for claiming that its “Almond Beautiful Shape” cream could “trim 1.3 inches in just 4 weeks” and that its “Almond Shaping Delight” has “clinically proven slimming effectiveness.”
- HCG Diet Direct got a bill over $3.2 million for marketing their ineffective HCG diet drops. For now, however, they don’t have to pay. They are broke.
If you bought any of these products (and if the company was able to pay the fine), you can contact the FTC for a refund.
There Is No Magic Pill
As happy as I am about the FTC slapping these guys where it really hurts, I still know it’s a fight they can’t win in the long run. Whenever they go after one of these companies, another three spring up.
There is profit in this market as long as people are willing to believe that weight loss works like magic and not by a simple in vs. out principle.
Picture courtesy of Sandra and Colin Rose.