1-800-GET-THIN Sweated for False Advertising, Identity Theft
The company behind all of those 1-800-GET-THIN commercials, the ones that run in high rotation on daytime TV with that catchy jingle, "Let your new life begin. Call...", is getting sweated by the federal Food and Drug Administration to correct misleading claims in its advertising.
The FDA sent a letter last week to the owners, who operate eight Southern California Lap Band weight-loss centers, stating that adjustments needed to be made to the overall marketing campaign in order for it to be compliant, according to KPCC.
Authorities said that the advertisements didn't adequately state who the Lap Band surgery was meant for, the risks associated with surgery, side effects, and they have to include a warning about death.
The first warning letter was sent to 1-800-GET-THIN in December 2011, and the company adjusted its marketing, which included television, radio, billboards and online advertisements. However, the FDA is still not satisfied and more changes will have to be made.
In addition to FDA woes, KPCC reports, the company's owners, brothers Michael and Julian Omidi, were also sued last week for identity theft.
Four doctors filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court claiming that the owners used their names and medical identification numbers to create fake corporations and perform fraudulent medical billings. Chris Wahl, a spokesperson for the surgery centers, told KPCC that the claims were false.