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CALIFORNIA | BRIEFLY: ADVERTISING / MARKETING

Home Shopping Network to Pay Fine

April 16, 1999| Reuters

Home Shopping Network will pay a $1.1-million fine to the government for airing advertisements with unsubstantiated claims for skin-care, weight-loss and PMS/menopause products. A spokeswoman for St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Home Shopping Network had no comment on the fine. The Federal Trade Commission said that Home Shopping Network had violated a 1996 order requiring the company to stop making claims without "competent and reliable scientific evidence." But Home Shopping Network continued to air ads claiming that skin-care products could "clean anyone's acne within several months" and clear "cystic acne and razor bumps on men's skin." None of the ads were substantiated, the Federal Trade Commission said. FTC Commissioner Sheila Anthony expressed concern that the civil penalty was "barely adequate." She said the company had agreed to follow the law and "only two years later, HSN is again before us and is again facing allegations that it has made multiple unsubstantiated product efficacy claims."

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