Kevin Trudeau has a book out called "Weight Loss Cures They Don’t Want You to Know About." The FTC makes no secret of its general disdain for dicey weight loss drugs and/or schemes. But Trudeau has a new wrinkle to the lengthy battle between the FTC and diet gurus. The FTC wants him to cease using infomercials to promote the book, but he says the infomercials simply advertise a product of his own constitutionally-protected free speech.
The FTC is famously down on any advertisement which makes claims about weight reduction that is not tied to diet and exercise. Trudeau’s marketers, Direct Marketing Concepts, couch the conflict between Trudeau and the FTC as a difference of opinion. Further, DMC President Donald Barrett claims, they are marketing a book, not diet products. "It is disheartening to me that the FTC would spend tax payers’ dollars on legal action designed to stop an author from expressing his beliefs," said Barrett. "The FTC is desperately seeking new ways to suppress Mr. Trudeau’s opinions and prevent millions of readers from hearing what he has to say about government agencies and American health care."
DMC claims that the FTC "has maintained a history of tacitly approving advertisements that merely repeat opinions expressed in books," which it calls the "mirror-image rule." Barrett plans to counter-sue the FTC over the matter.
RBR observation: Let’s see if we have this concept straight. We cannot market cigarettes over the air. But if we write a book called "Cigarettes: In Our Opinion, the Best Thing For You," then we can run all the ads we want to market the book. Interesting. Think this argument will fly?