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U.K. watchdog bans ads for weight-loss shake

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

The U.K. body regulating advertisements bans the broadcast of commercials for Optislim weight-loss shakes. The ad shows a woman dressed for exercise and stretching, but instead of working out she drinks Optislim. A voice-over says, "Shake fat fast with Optislim three-second work out. Your complete weight-loss solution." Six viewers challenged the ad, saying it implied the product would have the same benefit as exercise. The Advertising Standards Agency says a text disclaimer stating, "when used as part of a calorie-controlled diet and healthy lifestyle," was insufficient to remove the implication that the product could replace exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle. The product maker said millions of people saw the ad and few complained, evidence that people were not misled. It added that the advertisement implied the woman got ready for exercise but realized she did not have time, so she drank an Optislim instead. The Federal Trade Commission previously filed orders against U.S. advertisements that claim products can help consumers lose weight without exercising (1"The Tan Sheet" Jan. 24, 2005)

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