“Pain-Relieving” Copper Clothing Co. Fined $1.35 M for Deceptive Advertising

“Pain-Relieving” Copper Clothing Co. Fined $1.35 M for Deceptive Advertising

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.

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Authored by: Staff

There are 5 comments for this article
  1. myst7 at 11:37 pm

    I have a friend who says it works and helped her she wears it

  2. John S at 9:38 pm

    Copper along with magnets that are woven into blankets have been used by doctors for post op care. Patients that used the blankets showed an increase in circulation that would help reduce swelling and a quicker recovery time. No real pain relief was claimed by the doctors that used them.

    Working as a Club Golf Pro I used a copper & magnet bracelet for my golfers elbow and after a few days of use my elbow felt better. After taking the bracelet off the pain got worse so I continued to wear it for a few months. Was it all in my head, I don’t know but most of the members that purchased one from my shop ( I started selling them ) felt they did make a difference. ***** No one suffered from any type of chronic / severe condition. *******

    To claim that copper, woven into a brace, sock or any other article to be worn will relieve any type of severe pain from any condition is a real stretch. Tommy Copper made claims that made it sound like it was a miracle wrapped in an ace bandage and people paid for the stuff.

    Pain relief is a multi billion dollar industry and we all know why. When people with chronic and severe pain here a claim made about a product like TC they figure; I’ll give it a shot. There a plenty of new products coming out that say the same thing and some of them will be nothing more than heat and some warm lights. Who knows, maybe Dr. Ballantine will be the person recommending it.

    If it is something crazy and it does work, I’m sure it would be front page news all over the world.

    Thank you,

    John S

  3. LouisVA at 11:27 am

    I cringe every time I see one of these “too good to be true” products advertised. These con men and/or women are playing with desperate people to make $$$$$ and that is the only thing they care about. There has to be a special place in hell for these crooks that offer hope to desperate people while knowing the product is bogus. SCUM OF THE EARTH would be a great name for this special place.

  4. Heather at 11:26 am

    Seems to me these products have been out there for a long time.

    People try them, and they feel that they work for them, so they spread the word. Perhaps it’s the placebo effect, I don’t know. But word gets spread.

    I’ve been told many times that people “swear by” or “knows someone who swears by” copper products.

    Once they’ve been out on the market this long, the damage is already done. Because word has already spread. I’ll admit, it put a tickle in my brain hearing so many people telling me that I should try it. I’ve already spent too much money chasing hope, tho. I feel very badly for newly-diagnosed patients who are faced with an onslaught of well-meaning family and friends at their most vulnerable and impressionable times.

    These companies should pay for the inaccurate statements that they make. But really, they need to pay RIGHT AWAY… Not years afterward when consumers have already scratched the curiosity itch.