Company Marketing Copper-Infused Compression Clothing will Pay $1.35 Million for Deceptive Advertising
An athletic apparel company is settling Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges that it uses deceptive advertising to market a line of clothing said to treat chronic pain.
Tommie Copper and its founder Thomas Kallish will pay $1.35 million of an $86.8 million judgment for claiming that the company's copper-infused compression clothing would relieve severe and chronic pain and inflammation caused by arthritis and other diseases.
The proposed settlement with the FTC also requires the company and Kallish to have competent and reliable scientific evidence before making future claims about pain relief, disease treatment, or health benefits. Should it be found that Tommie Copper or Kallish lied about their financial condition, the full judgement will be due.
According to the complaint, since April 2011 the company has advertised Tommie Copper copper-infused compression garments in infomercials, brochures, social media, and print media such as Arthritis Today magazine. The garments, including sleeves, braces, shirts and socks, range in price from $29.95 to $69.50.
The company's infomercials featured talk show host Montel Williams declaring that, "Tommie Copper truly is pain relief without a pill." Company ads featured celebrity and consumer testimonials claiming that Tommie Copper garments alleviated pain caused by multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and fibromyalgia; and could provide pain relief comparable to, or better than, drugs or surgery.
The FTC alleges that the defendants' claims were false or unsubstantiated.