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82/07 12 June 2007
The OFT has obtained assurances from a United States-based company that it will no longer distribute mailings advertising a slimming product in the UK.
Long Life Consumer SA LLC had sent over 187,000 mailings to UK consumers describing 'Linea 7' as 'The ULTIMATE WEAPON AGAINST those unwanted pounds'. Nearly 4,000 people responded, ordering a course of 'Linea 7' capsules at a minimum cost of £26.50. The mailings claimed that the capsules dislodged and expelled excess fat. ' One woman was claimed to be 49 pounds lighter after taking only 14 capsules over two seven day courses.
The mailing made further claims that 'Linea 7' 'forced' the body to lose 'up to 24 pounds of fat with only seven capsules' with no effort, no dieting and no side effects and 'without ever gaining weight again'. In fact the mailing actually advises against dieting whilst using 'Linea 7.'
After being made aware of the mailing, the OFT contacted Long Life Consumer SA LLC to express concerns over the potentially misleading claims being made and requested substantiation for these claims. Although the company responded by stating that the ingredients in the 'Linea 7' capsules had been tested a number of times in worldwide laboratories and that there existed clinical reports on the beneficial effects of the ingredients in the fight against excess weight and the elimination of fat they provided no proper evidence to back up their claims.
However, they confirmed that they would never again distribute the mailing in the UK and, in fact, had decided to withdraw their mail order business from the UK market altogether.
Christine Wade, OFT Assistant Chief Executive, Consumer Advice and Trading Standards said:
'With summer just around the corner, people often start thinking about getting in shape. Products that promise dramatic weight loss without dieting, effort or side effects can seem like an easy answer, but the only thing likely to be made slimmer by such products is your bank balance.'
Consumers who are unsure about health claims being made in mailings should contact Consumer Direct for clear, practical advice on 08454 04 05 06 or visit the Consumer Direct website before they part with any money.
1. Research commissioned by the OFT involving 11,200 interviews found that an estimated 200,000 UK consumers fall victim to misleading miracle health and slimming cure claims every year, losing around £20 million.
2. The OFT previously obtained assurances from Long Life Consumer SA LLC in relation to claims made about another of its products TerreX' (see press release 40/07).
3. Consumer Direct is a telephone and online consumer advice service funded by government and managed by the Office of Fair Trading. It offers clear, practical and impartial advice and information about consumer rights.
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