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FTC Toying With Bill Ackman's Emotions

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If you hadn'tpreviouslyheard, Pershing Square Capital Management's Bill Ackman thinks that nutritional supplements company Herbalife is a big scam, a belief that has cost him (and his investors) a half-billion dollars. Nevertheless, he has stated that he remains confident that the white knights at the Federal Trade Commission will eventually ride in on their white horses and shut Herbalife down, thereby vindicating his belief that one day, Herbalife shares will be worth nothing, rather than more and more with each passing day.

Imagine his excitement, then, to read yesterday that FTC was cracking down on bogus weight-loss products. Well, Bill undoubtedly thought to himself, Herbalife sells a whole range of bogus weight-loss products! Alas, if the Pershing Square founder is still looking for the name "Herbalife" among the companies who paid the FTC $34 million to go away, he will be doing so for some time to come.

Federal regulators cracked down on companies that said their products would help people lose weight with little effort.

The Federal Trade Commission announced settlements Tuesday totaling $34 million against three companies, the largest being a $26.5 million settlement against Sensa Products LLC. The company markets a dietary supplement called Sensa that is sprinkled on foods.

Also settling was L'Occitane Inc., known for its tony L'Occitane en Provence stores found in many malls across the U.S. The FTC said the beauty-products maker made deceptive claims about its Almond Beautiful Shape and Almond Shaping Delight skin cream that it sold on its website and retail stores…..

The FTC and the Connecticut attorney general office said they entered into a partial settlement with LeanSpa LLC, a Connecticut firm that was effectively shut down in 2011 over its promotion of acai berry and other purported weight-loss products. The settlement money, estimated at $7.3 million, will come from the sale of assets by one of the company's owners and his wife.

FTC Cracks Down on Weight-Loss Product Marketers [WSJ]