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FTC Targets Bogus Claims for Pill Advertised to Make Kids Taller

Doyle, Barlow & Mazard PLLC

On November 28, a Florida business and its owner, who marketed purported height-enhancing pills for kids and young adults, agreed to pay $375,000 to settle charges that their advertising claims were deceptive. The Federal Trade Commission charged the defendants with making false and unsubstantiated claims for HeightMax, as well as for two other supplements, Liposan Ultra Chitosan Fat Blocker and Osteo-Vite.
The operation advertised HeightMax dietary supplements in English and Spanish on the Internet and radio. Ads also appeared in the back pages of magazines such as Newsweek, Rolling Stone, and Maxim. The FTC complaint charged that claims for the pills were unsubstantiated or false and that the defendants invented William Thomson, a supposed expert who appeared in the ads. According to the complaint, the ads for HeightMax Concentrate and HeightMax Plus misrepresented that: