Jon Leibowitz is exiting the Federal Trade Commission 2/15/13, ending a tour of duty that began as Commissioner September 2004 and as Chairman March 2009. His work protecting consumers included numerous actions against well known companies running allegedly deceptive advertising.
“I have been honored to head this extraordinary, bipartisan Commission and to work alongside the best staff in federal government,” said Chairman Leibowitz. “Our small but mighty agency has safeguarded the privacy of Americans and stopped predatory financial practices by companies taking advantage of cash-strapped consumers. Our antitrust enforcement has helped contain health care and drug costs, and helped reduce prices and increase innovation for smartphones, computer chips and other high-tech products.”
Under Leibowitz, the FTC has been on guard against advertising claims about environmentally-friendliness, health and weight loss claims that are unsupported by clinical evidence; or by advertisements for debt reduction, money-making schemes or other financial offers that were not justified by results.
FTC detailed the latter type of operation, saying, “During Leibowitz’s tenure, the FTC has filed more than 50 law enforcement actions to stop ‘last dollar’ scams that prey on consumers in financial distress, such as foreclosure ‘rescue’ and mortgage modification schemes, phony debt-reduction and credit-repair services, and bogus government grant opportunities, job scams, and get-rich quick frauds, with many state Attorneys General as partners.”