If you believed the ads from Tommie Copper, Inc., you’d think your clothing could relieve arthritis, fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis-related pain. And, you’d be wrong.
So wrong, in fact, that the Federal Trade Commission has settled with the clothing manufacturer to pay $1.35 million for its deceptive advertising.
The company’s ads said the copper-infused compression clothing would relieve severe and chronic pain and inflammation cause by arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and fibromyalgia.
“It’s tempting to believe that wearing certain clothing will eliminate severe pain, but Tommie Copper didn’t have science to back its claims,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.
The company’s infomercials featured talk show host Montel Williams, who is widely known as being a sufferer of multiple sclerosis. In his infomercials, Williams stated, “Tommie Copper truly is pain relief without a pill.”
The company’s ads had other celebrities and testimonials claiming the copper clothing could provide pain relief comparable to, or better than, drugs or surgery.
The federal court order imposes an $86.8 million judgment against the defendants, which will be partially suspended upon payment of $1.35 million by the defendants. If the defendants are found to have misrepresented their financial condition, the total amount is due immediately.
Tommie Copper’s settlement also requires the company and its founder and chairman, Thomas Kallish, to have competent and reliable scientific evidence before making future claims about pain relief, disease treatment, or health benefits.
The Mt. Kisco, New York-based company advertised its copper-infused compression clothing in infomercials, brochures, social media, and print media such as Arthritis Today magazine. The clothing, which include sleeves, braces, shirts and socks, range in price from $29.95 to $69.50.
“If you see an ad for a product that promises to replace the need for drugs or surgery, talk to a healthcare professional before you spend your money,” Jessica Rich added.