IT WAS billed as the dream solution for couch potatoes looking to tone their flabby stomachs, but for infomercial group Danoz Direct it has resulted in a firm slap on the wrist from the consumer watchdog.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has taken to task the promoter of the Abtronic X2 Fitness System for misleading consumers.
The ACCC has accepted a court enforceable undertaking from the television marketing company following concerns that its infomercials promoting the Abtronic X2 Fitness System had breached Australian Consumer Law.
The Abtronic X2 is worn like a belt around a person's midsection and releases an electric current, which is said to produce weight loss by involuntarily contracting muscles.
The ACCC says Danoz engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct between at least August 2013 and September 2014 through its television infomercials and in testimonials about the effectiveness and benefits of the Abtronic X2 as a weight loss and fitness device.
Among the benefits touted in the commercials were that the Abtronic X2 would tighten, tone, sculpt and flatten the stomach without the need for diet and exercise.
It also said that one minute on the device had the equivalent benefit of performing 400 sit-ups.
The device was said to produce these results even while sitting down, watching television or working on the computer.
Danoz has acknowledged the ACCC's concerns and that it did not have reasonable grounds for making these representations.
"Businesses must be able to substantiate all claims that they make when promoting or advertising their products, or they risk breaching the Australian Consumer Law," says ACCC commissioner Sarah Court.
Danoz cooperated with the ACCC investigation, amended its advertising practices and has offered an undertaking to address the ACCC's concerns.
As part of the undertaking, Danoz will review its compliance systems and publish a corrective notice on its website.
In 2003, the ACCC took court action against a different corporate entity but similarly named Danoz Direct in relation to the original Abtronic fitness system.
Danoz Direct which was the subject of those proceedings is a different legal entity to the current Danoz Direct.
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