FTC: No, You Probably Can’t Lose 20 Pounds By Using An Ab Glider For Three Minutes A Day

abNo matter how old a Federal Trade Commission consent order is, if you break it you’re bound to pay a pretty stiff penalty. Just ask the folks over at ICON Health & Fitness Inc. who agreed to pay millions of dollars in penalties for continuing to make deceptive weight loss claims in fitness equipment advertisements.

The FTC announced today that ICON will pay $3 million to settle charges that it violated a 1997 consent order by advertising that use of the Pro-Form ab Glider for just three minutes a day would result in significant weight loss. (Shockingly those claims aren’t true.)

According to the FTC’s latest complaint [PDF] against the company, since at least August 2010 and through June 2013, ICON ran several advertisements making weight-loss claims for the ab Glider.

Ads included video infomercials on television, on ICON’s website and on social media networks. The ads often featured television personality Elisabeth Hasselbeck and several consumer endorsers claiming that using the ab Glider for only three minutes a day would lead to lost pounds, inches and clothing sizes.

(Sounds a bit like the Ab Circle Pro, right? You remember, the device we told you about a few months ago that supposedly magically makes your head – er, waist – smaller?)

The FTC found that none of the consumers featured in the advertisements actually shed their pounds by just three minutes of work on the glider. Instead, the FTC revealed the consumers had subscribed to a controlled diet, used the device for more than 3 minutes a day and performed additional exercises to lose weight.

Because ICON could not substantiate the advertised resulted were solely from using the glider for three minutes each day, the FTC charged it with violating a 1997 order against the company.

That order, stemming from the company’s deceptive marketing of the Pro-Form Cross Walk Treadmill, required ICON to support weight loss claims with competent and reliable scientific evidence.

And without further ado, here is an example of a Pro-Form ab Glider infomercial:

Marketers of the Pro-Form ab GLIDER™ Agree to Pay $3 Million in Civil Penalties for Violating 1997 FTC Order Prohibiting Deceptive Weight Loss Claims [FTC]

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