Feds Go After '1 Tip' Diet Ads
US sues creators of inescapable online ads
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jul 7, 2011 3:39 PM CDT
An example of one of the ads the government says are fraudulent.   (fatburningfurnace.com)

(Newser) – You’re probably sick of them by now: those ads that promise “1 Tip for a Tiny Belly” next to a drawing of a shrinking stomach. Don’t believe it, the government says: In different lawsuits, federal officials are pursuing those behind the ads, calling them a giant fraud, the Washington Post reports. The ads have garnered “tens of billions” of views, says a US lawyer, and have brought in more than a billion dollars—but they’re rife with misinformation.

The ads, by affiliates of the products’ manufacturers, lead to sites with fake news articles made to look like unbiased investigative reporting. But the news sources behind the sites, like Consumeronlinetips.com, are fake, the companies can’t demonstrate that their products work, and the “free samples” aren’t really free. In one case, requesting a free sample means agreeing to pay $80 every few weeks for new shipments, the Post notes. Meanwhile, the affiliates—who are seemingly unconnected, though their tactics are similar—allegedly cite legitimate news organizations and celebrities who haven’t really endorsed their products.

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Jul 9, 2011 12:20 PM CDT
I lost over 300 pounds of ugly fat in one simple step. You just drop off the key, Lee, and get yourself free.
Jul 8, 2011 11:56 AM CDT
My diabetic wife lost 58 lbs and 7 dress sizes with one simple step. She stopped drinking Pepsi. When I see those type of ads, I almost feel sorry for those that can't figure that out for themselves. Almost.
Jul 8, 2011 2:13 AM CDT
"fake news articles made to look like unbiased investigative reporting." You mean like any MSM story about conservatives?