Montel Williams once told an infomercial audience that Tommie Copper compression garments can not only give consumers back their movement and strength, but also “get their life back.” Now the Federal Trade Commission has settled with the Westchester, New York-area company for $ 1.35 million, arguing the company could not back up its claims.
The FTC on Tuesday announced its deal with the company, which the agency said settled accusations that Tommie Copper had deceptively marketed its copper-infused compression sleeves for the wrists, back, knees and other pain prone areas claiming to relieve severe and chronic pain from arthritis. , fibromyalgia and other conditions.
Infomercials at other times have shown Mr. Williams to be promising, “Tommie Copper is truly pain relief without the pill,” the FTC said.
The settlement, the amount of which is based on the company’s ability to pay, aims to alert consumers to the claims and “signal advertisers that they really need to have a solid basis for their claims before they broadcast them. “said Carolyn Hann. from the Consumer Protection Bureau of the FTC.
It is not clear whether people who purchased Tommie Copper products will receive any money as a result of the settlement. “Our hope is always to administer consumer remedies where possible,” Ms. Hann said. “It depends on the amount of money received and the number of consumers involved.”
Tommie Copper sponsors charity races and its products appear on athletes in magazines. A recent issue of Self Magazine featured tennis player Ana Ivanovic wearing Tommie Copper cuff sleeves. According to Ms. Hann, the FTC regulations will not prevent the company from pursuing such marketing activity. Rather, it demands that the company “have competent and reliable scientific evidence before making any future claims regarding pain relief, disease treatment or health benefits.”
Jonathan Franks of Lucid Public Relations, a spokesperson for Mr. Williams regarding the FTC settlement, posted a statement on Twitter noting that the relationship between Mr. Williams and Tommie Copper “ended years ago.” He added that Mr. Williams is “not a party to the FTC action.”
Although Mr Williams approved the company’s products, it was the company that hired him that was at fault in the settlement, Ms Hann said. “We consider the advertiser to be ultimately responsible.”
Tommie Copper did not respond to a request for comment for this story.