NOTE: Here is where you can find advertising law information based on news briefs that appeared in past issues of Advertising Compliance Service, "Your Single Essential Advertising Law Resource," during the month of June 1998.
FTC has OK'd as final a consent agreement with Mega Systems International, Inc., Jeffrey Salberg and Howard Berg, settling charges that advertising claims made in radio and TV infomercials were false and unsubstantiated. Under the agreement's terms, Mega Systems and Salberg will pay $500,000 in consumer redress and will be required to make the following disclosure in TV infomercials that are at least 15 minutes long:
"THE PROGRAM YOU ARE WATCHING IS A PAID ADVERTISEMENT FOR [THE PRODUCT OR SERVICE]"
They also agreed to disclose the same audio message in radio infomercials that are at least five minutes long. Also, Mega Systems, Salberg and Berg will be barred from making deceptive claims as to their products in the future. Salberg and Mega Systems will be required to have substantiation, which, when appropriate, must be scientific, for claims about the benefits, performance or efficacy of any product or program they advertise; promote; sell; or distribute in the future. They also will be barred from misrepresenting the existence, contents, validity, results, conclusions or interpretations of any test, study or research. Berg will be required to have scientific substantiation for claims about the benefits, performance or efficacy of any product or program like those he allegedly deceptively promoted.
NOTE:A consent agreement is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission of a law violation. When the Commission issues a consent order on a final basis, it carries the force of law with respect to future actions. Each violation of such an order may result in a civil penalty of $11,000.
(Mega Systems International, Inc., et al., FTC Dkt. Nos. C-3811 (Salberg) and C-3812 (Berg) June 19, 1998; materials relating to this FTC matter are available on the Internet at FTC's World Wide Web site at: http://www.ftc.gov.)
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