December 1, 2015 / 7:32 PM / 4 years ago

Tommie Copper settles with U.S. over deceptive ad claims

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Athletic apparel and accessories company Tommie Copper has agreed to settle allegations that it had no proof for advertisements that its products relieved ailments like arthritis, the Federal Trade Commission said on Tuesday.

Tommie Copper, which sold about $87 million worth of copper-infused elbow, ankle and wrist sleeves as well as other products between 2011 and 2014, agreed to pay $1.35 million to reimburse customers and settle the charges, the FTC said.

“It’s tempting to believe that wearing certain clothing will eliminate severe pain, but Tommie Copper didn’t have science to back its claims,” said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a statement.

In addition to the financial settlement, the company agreed to desist from making medical claims about their products without proof.

Talk show host Montel Williams endorsed the products to treat multiple sclerosis, which he has, as well as other ailments, according to the FTC, which investigates companies accused of making false advertising claims.

A spokesman for Williams said that he had had no contact with the FTC. “Mr. Williams’ relationship with Tommie Copper ended years ago. We learned of the FTC matter for the first time as a result of a media inquiry,” said Jonathan Franks, Williams’ spokesman.

Tommie Copper representatives did not respond to requests for comment.

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