FTC Gags for Good TV Infomercial Star

08 September 2004

In what's thought to be the first move of its kind, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has banned an individual from appearing in infomercials making product claims.

The landmark decision applies to one Kevin Trudeau, for many years the TV face of umpteen potions pledging to ease pain, boost memory and prolong life – to name but a few. It follows a court ruling concluding that he had contravened an FTC decree in 1998 preventing him from plugging such wares.

The former infomercial king is now prohibited "from appearing in, producing, or disseminating future infomercials that advertise any type of product, service, or program to the public", says the FTC – a ban that extends to promotions making product claims in all media.

In addition to the ban, Trudeau has agreed to pay $2 million (£1.13m; €1.66m) settlement to the federal agency to settle a lawsuit he was facing over claimed cancer-cure product Coral Calcium Supreme and alleged pain reliever Biotape.

The Washington Post Online; additional content by WARC staff